Tuesday, December 30, 2008


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.

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