Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Today’s question is about the ABCs. And no multiple choice today.
Besides “X,” what’s the only other letter in the alphabet no Mets player’s surname has ever begun with?


Yesterday's Daily Mets Quiz asked:
Who was the winning pitcher in the Mets' last World Series game victory -- a 4-2 decision at Shea Stadium in Game 3 of the 2000 Series, over the New York Yankees?
The correct answer is c) John Franco
The other options…

a) Rick Reed
The big right-hander from West Virginia was once famously described by former Mets’ broadcaster Tim McCarver as “the poor man’s Greg Maddux.” In Game 3 of the 2000 World Series, Reed, who started the game, seemed to be channeling the prime years of a guy in the Yankees’ dugout, ex-Met Doc Gooden. Reed fanned eight in six innings and most importantly, allowed just two runs, to keep the Mets in the game.

b) Armando Benitez
The mere mention of his name breaks the hearts of Mets fans everywhere. During the regular season, he was lights out with his trademark heater, establishing a Mets single-season record of 41 saves. But during the post-season, with everything on the line, Benitez was a liability. His 2000 post-season was doomed by his first appearance, when he allowed a game-tying home run to the Giants’ J.T. Snow in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. In Game 1 of the 2000 World Series, it was Benitez’s inability to preserve a 3-2 9th inning Mets lead that led to an extra inning loss. Still, Benitez saved Game 3, allowing one hit in a scoreless 9th Inning.

d) Dennis Cook
He was an emotionally-charged lefty relief specialist who helped form one of the best Mets’ bullpens in both 1999 and 2000. Cook appeared in Game 3, but was lifted after issuing a walk to start the 8th Inning. Franco picked him up, getting the next Yankees’ hitter to ground into a double play.

Check back later today for another Daily Mets Quiz.


ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that Cleveland has just traded three Minor Leaguers to the Chicago Cubs for second-baseman Mark De Rosa. The prospects Cleveland dealt are all pitchers: Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer and John Caub. Olney writes that Cleveland may move De Rosa, 33, to third base. Last season De Rosa hit 21 homers and knocked in 87 runs, while batting .285. All De Rosa's offensive totals last year are career highs and he sports a lifetime batting average of .279.
Stevens split time last year between Cleveland's AA and AAA clubs and amassed a 3.52 ERA. Archer and Caub last season pitched on a Single-A Cleveland affiliate.


The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have today announced in a press release, their signing of free-agent closer Brian Fuentes to a two-year contract, with a club option for a third year. ESPN'S Buster Olney reports the deal is worth $8.5 million in 2009, $9 million in 2010 and a vesting option for $9 million in 2011. Fuentes, who is 33, converted 30 saves in 34 chances in 2008 and has 115 career saves in 139 chances.


Comcast Sportsnet Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times are reporting the Cubs and free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley are close to agreeing to terms on a multi-year deal that could be announced as early as next week.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Jack Curry of the New York Times is reporting that, according to his baseball sources, the Mets have offered free agent pitcher Derek Lowe a three-year, $36 million contract.


ESPN is reporting that the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies are discussing a straight one-for-one deal in which Cubs' starter Jason Marquis would be traded for reliever Luis Vizcaino.


Today’s question is a follow-up to yesterday’s, about the Mets last World Series game win, Game 3, of 2000. It is, simply: Who was the Mets’ winning pitcher?

a) Rick Reed

b) Armando Benitez

c) John Franco

d) Dennis Cook
The answer will be revealed tomorrow.


Yesterday's Daily Mets Quiz went like this:

Blame it on the alignment of the stars or some other phenomenon, but in their first three World Series appearances, in Game 3 in each of those series, the Mets' leadoff hitter in those games each hit solo homers -- Tommie Agee in 1969, Wayne Garrett in 1973 and Lenny Dykstra in 1986. But Game 3 of the 2000 World Series was different.

Which Met led off the game and what did he do?

The correct answer is d) Timo Perez struck out swinging.
Perez – a rookie sensation the Mets plucked from obscurity – went ice cold against the Yankees in the 2000 World Series. After torching the Cardinals in five National League Championship Series games by collecting seven hits, scoring eight runs and stealing two bases, Perez went just 2-for-16 in the World Series. The biggest run Perez scored was one he should have, but didn’t. Mets fans will never forget Perez’s getting nailed at home plate in Game 1 after Todd Zeile’s drive appeared to have left the yard but instead ricocheted off the top of the left field wall. The other options...

a) Lenny Harris flied out, deep to right
Sorry. After Harris provided much-needed spark both off the bench and on the bases in 2000, he went 0-for-4 in that year's World Series. All of his official at-bats came in dreadful Game 2, the Roger-Clemens-threw-a-bat-shard-at-Mike-Piazza-and-the-Mets-didn't-retaliate-game. Harris would later say, of the Mets' non-response: "We should've thrown some hands."

b) Timo Perez bunted for a base hit
Would've been a great idea, given Perez's speed, but difficult to execute against the starting pitcher...breaking ball and change of speed master Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.

c) Benny Agbayani doubled to left-center
Agbayani actually hit leadoff off Game 5, when then-Manager Bobby Valentine was desperate to shake up the Mets' moribund offense. Agbayani saved the double to left center when the Mets most needed it -- the bottom of the 8th inning of Game 3 -- and drove home Todd Zeile with the go-ahead run in a 2-2 tie. The Mets would win 4-2, their only victory in the Series, which broke a long Yankees' winning streak of World Series games and handed a loss to Hernandez.


As quickly as word spread Monday afternoon, it was doused by late evening. A Major League Baseball source told last night the Mets had once approached the Dodgers about trading second-baseman Luis Castillo to them, but only superficially. "It's not going to happen," the source said.

Monday, December 29, 2008


From the now THAT would be something file...ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting the Mets and Dodgers are mulling over trading bad contracts: the Mets would unload second-baseman Luis Castillo on L.A. while the Dodgers would dump Andruw Jones on the Mets.

Olney writes that the Mets, if they acquire Jones, might use him in right field, where Ryan Church currently plays. Hypothetically, Church could then be traded for starting or relief pitching help. Read more here, by clicking this link:

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe continues to report that the Mets may be interested in signing free agent catcher Jason Varitek, who free agent pitchers Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez have always raved about, when they threw to him in Boston.


In one of the oddest accomplishments any team has achieved, in each of the first three World Series the Mets appeared in, their first batters each hit solo home runs to leadoff Game 3.
Tommie Agee did it in 1969, Wayne Garrett did it in 1973 and Lenny Dykstra went deep in 1986.
Today's question is:
Who was the Mets leadoff hitter in Game 3 of the 2000 World Series and what did he do?

a) Lenny Harris flied out to deep right

b) Timo Perez bunted for a base hit

c) Benny Agbayani doubled to left-center

d) Timo Perez struck out swinging


On the trail of Major League Baseball news today, besides the Mets expecting to make offers this week to free agent pitchers Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez, various news agencies are reporting the following items...The Orioles have signed free-agent left-handed pitcher Mark Hendrickson, who last season was Mets' ace Johan Santana's mound opponent on Opening Day in Miami.
Free agent slugging outfielder Adam Dunn is attracting interest from both the Dodgers and Cubs, the Toronto Blue Jays have signed catcher Michael Barrett to a Minor League contract and two Cuban players, pitchers Yadel Marti and outfielder Yasser Gomez, have defected to the Dominican Republic and are seeking Major League careers.
The Colorado Rockies are pursuing free agent starting pitcher Tim Redding (more on him in an old post on this blog site) and considering trading for Cubs' right-hander Jason Marquis.
These stories were reported in greater depth by, the Baltimore Sun, Denver Post and ESPN.
Click this link for the piece about the Cuban players, by Enrique Rojas:


Yesterday’s question was: Whose club record for most appearances in a single season did Pedro Feliciano break last year, by getting the call 86 times?

The correct answer is c) Mike Stanton
In the dark ages of the last year of Manager Art Howe’s reign, in 2004, Stanton appeared in 84 games. After observing his stats for that season, one has every reason to ask why. Stanton’s record was a lackluster 2-6 and his ERA of 4.57 didn’t do much more to inspire confidence.

The other choices…

a) Roger McDowell, now the Atlanta Braves’ pitching coach, was a key member in the Mets 1980s resurgence, beginning with his rookie year in 1985. That year, when the Mets narrowly missed winning the National League East title, McDowell notched 17 saves. In the World Series Championship season in 1986, McDowell earned 14 wins and 22 saves. He turned in an unforgettable five shutout innings in relief in the epic Game 6 of the 1986 National League Championship Series and was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.

b) Aaron Heilman, now a Seattle Mariner, appeared in a career-high 81 games in the ill-fated Collapse season of 2007.

d) Tug McGraw
The lasting image of the late left-handed closer is his dance on the old Veterans Stadium mound in 1980 as a Phillie, after shutting down the Kansas City Royals to seal a World Series Championship. But Mets fans will always remember his inspirational battle cry, “Ya Gotta Believe!” that helped the Mets come out of nowhere to win the 1973 National League crown. That year, McGraw appeared in 60 games, the most single-season appearances he ever logged as a Met, going 5-6 and saving 25 games.

Another Daily Mets Quiz will be posted later today, right here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


With each passing day, it appears the Mets are getting better positioned to make a run on their terms at free agent pitchers Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez and Randy Wolf.
The latest development is the big-market Red Sox imminent signing of free agent right-handed starter Brad Penny, as was first reported by Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal and later by the Boston Herald and Boston Globe.
The deal, pending Penny's passing a physical, would be a one-year contract worth $5 million, with another $3 million more if he pitches at least 160 innings. Last year, just one season removed from starting the All Star Game for the National League, Penny battled a shoulder ailment and went just 6-9 with a 6.27 ERA.
With Boston spending on Penny and thus, filling a spot in their starting rotation, the Yankees' recent signings of A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia and the Cubs' brass being on record that the team has spent whatever money was earmarked for signing free agents, it pretty much leaves just the Mets and Angels as big-market potential suitors for Lowe, whose agent is Scott Boras, who also represents Mets' center fielder Carlos Beltran and recent Mets' pitcher Oliver Perez.
On a trivial note about Penny, who is 29: He was the losing pitcher in the Mets' 2006 National League Division Series Game 1 win at She Stadium over the Dodgers.


Today’s question is about appearances.

Last season, reliever Pedro Feliciano established a new Mets’ single-season record with 86 appearances. Whose record did he break?
Roger McDowell
Aaron Heilman
Mike Stanton
Tug McGraw
Log in tomorrow for the answer.


Yesterday's quiz question was about putting the team first.
It was: In which season did the Mets achieve their highest bteam batting average (.286)?
The correct answer is b) 1999

That’s the year the Mets hit .286 as a team and had five regulars all hit above .300., with a sixth batting .298. The five players above .500 were: Rickey Henderson at .315, Roger Cedeno at .313, Edgardo Alfonzo at .304, Mike Piazza at .303 and Robin Ventura at .301. John Olerud, who still holds the Mets’ single-season record for highest batting average at .354, hit .298 in 1999, while drawing a club-record 125 walks. That year, one of the most exciting in club history, saw three Mets – Piazza, Ventura and Alfonzo – drive in more than 100 runs, with Olerud narrowly missing the mark with 96. Light-hitting shortstop Rey Ordonez hit a full-season career high .258 and knocked in a career-best 60 runs. Even the new guys acquired at the July 31 trading deadline literally got into the swing of things. Outfielder Darryl Hamilton hit .339 and utility guy Shawon Dunston hit .344. Bench men Benny Agbayani hit .286 and Todd Pratt hit .293.
Edgardo Alfonzo
Roger Cedeno
Mike Piazza
Robin Ventura
Rickey Henderson
The other choices…

a) 2007
In the year that will be forever known to Mets fans as The Collapse, the Mets batted .282. In a half-season, outfielder Moises Alou batted .341 and set a new club record with a 30-game hitting streak. David Wright had a monster year, hitting .325

b) 1986
The year the Mets last won a World Series Championship, they hit .263 as a team. Keith Hernandez led the way with a .310 mark, with eventual World Series Most Valuable Player, third-baseman Ray Knight behind him at .298 and outfielder Lenny Dykstra hitting .295.

c) 1996
Though the Mets finished just four games from rock bottom in the National League East that year, the team could hit – it posted a collective .270 average. Outfielders Bernard Gilkey and Lance Johnson enjoyed career years. Gilkey swatted 30 homers, a still-standing club record 44 doubles and tied the existing record for RBI in a single year with 117. Johnson was an offensive juggernaut, batting .333, establishing still-standing club records for triples in a single year, with 21 and hits, with 227.
Log on later today for your Daily Mets Quiz.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Today's question is about putting the team before individual players.
Here it is: In what season did the Mets achieve their highest team batting average, .286?

a) 2007
b) 1999
c) 1986
d) 1996

The answer will be revealed tomorrow.


The Dayton Daily News reports today that the Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Willy Taveras, who last year led the National League in steals, with 68, to a two-year contract worth an undisclosed amount. Taveras is expected to start in center field for Cincinnati and will likely be the first regular season batter Mets' ace Johan Santana may face when the two teams meet in the 2009 season opener.


Yesterday's question was: Which west African country in 2007 did Mets General Manager Omar Minaya participate in a Major League Baseball delegation to run clinics for Little League-age children?

The correct answer is c) Ghana
Mets’ General Manager Omar Minaya visited Ghana with other Major League Baseball officials in 2007 and helped put on a clinic in that country – sub-Saharan Africa’s first to win independence from European colonization, in 1956. It may take a while for baseball to catch on there, as Ghanaians are soccer-crazy, as evidenced by their support of the national Black Stars team, which reached the 2006 World Cup quarterfinals.

The other choices...

a) Nigeria
No Nigerian has yet reached the Major Leagues. The Milwaukee Brewers signed two Nigerian-born amateur baseball players in 2002, pitcher Augustine Ozorede and catcher, Gbenga Olayemi. Ozorede though, was killed in a car accident in Nigeria weeks before he was to participate in Spring Training. Olayemi played just 24 games with the Brewers’ Arizona League team in 2003, batting .170.

b) Liberia
Two years ago, this republic – founded by 19th century repatriated African-Americans – was the first African country to elect a female head of state, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Thomas Tapeh, a Liberian-born athlete, played earlier this decade in the National Football League. No one from this country has yet to make it in the Major Leagues.

c) Burkina Faso
Its name in English means “the land of upright men.” Every other year, this country’s capital Ougadougou (wah-gah-doh-GOO) plays host to FESPACO, the world’s largest festival of African-made films. But baseball has perhaps only been played there by American Peace Corps volunteers.





In a market where the Yankees spent big, the Mets may yet capitalize. So says ESPN baseball beat writer Buster Olney, who says the orange-and-blue are in a good position to chase free agent starting pitchers Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez and Randy Wolf on their terms, not the players'. For more, check out Olney's column here:
Meanwhile, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Mets are waiting for Lowe's price to drop and are also considering re-signing pitcher Pedro Martinez. Read that report here:


ESPN is reporting free agent left-handed starter Randy Jonson, just five wins shy of 300 in his illustrious career, has signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the San Francisco Giants.
Johnson, 45, is a native of Walnut Creek, in Northern California. He went 11-10 last year with a 3.91 ERA with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with whom he pitched for eight of the last 10 seasons.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Today's question indirectly relates to the African-American cultural holiday Kwanzaa, which begins today and is derived from many African societies’ celebrations of the harvest.
Here’s the question: Which west African country in 2007 did Mets’ General Manager Omar Minaya visit (a scene from it is captured in the picture below), with a delegation of other Major League Baseball officials, to organize a series of baseball clinics with Little League-age players?

a) Nigeria

b) Liberia

c) Ghana

d) Burkina Faso
The answer will be revealed here, tomorrow.