Prayers for Jeff Innis Who’s Battling Cancer

28 Jan

Jeff Innis

Family of former Illinois Baseball and New York Mets pitcher Jeff Innis is asking for help to get him home in his final days.

In a GoFundMe posted this week, Innis’ family said he has been battling cancer since 2017 and it recently took a turn for the worst. Family said his treatment at a Houston area hospital is no longer viable, and they’re trying to get Innis home to Atlanta so he can spend his finally days in hospice care with his family. “We appreciate any support you can offer as we bring Jeff home to rest peacefully,” the family wrote.

Innis was a standout reliever who mostly played on some really bad Mets teams in the late 80’s and early 90s. A lifetime Met who played only 7 years in total, I never heard or read a bad thing about him and word has it that he also played in fantasy camps after he retired. It’s not looking good at the moment, but prayers to his family and loved ones.

Baseball Hall of Fame Snubs Barry Bonds…Again

26 Jan

One rewriting of baseball’s record books began in earnest in 1986. That year, a fireballing right-hander in Boston won 24 games en route to the AL Cy Young and the AL MVP. Meanwhile, a wiry 21-year-old with a familiar name reached the big leagues in Pittsburgh.

Across the 22 years their careers would overlap, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens earned 17% of all the MVP and Cy Young Awards handed out. They each claimed their occupation’s top honor seven times, obliterating the all-time marks. They each had two careers worth of Hall of Fame dominance — with peaks in the 1990s and 2000s matching or eclipsing their most fearsome contemporaries.

Bonds and Clemens should’ve both been elected, but hey Bonds didn’t get along with the media and since he never actually failed a drug test, there can’t be any other reason why he isn’t in. On the other hand, Clemens was just aloof so who knows what the deal really is there. Yet, David Ortiz has always been well-liked by everybody so do the math.

Players Association Drops Request To Give Players Free Agency Before 6 Years

24 Jan

Tony Clark Rob Manfred

The Major League Baseball Players Association dropped its request to introduce an age-based free-agency system into the sport on Monday, withdrawing a proposal in one of the three major areas MLB had shown no interest in changing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Athletic.

That means the amount of service time it takes a player to reach free agency — six years — is most likely going to remain unchanged whenever the sides reach a new deal. The players had previously proposed a system to get some players to free agency after five years if they had reached a certain age: 30 1/2, and then eventually, 29 1/2.

I’m always wondering about the effort from pro athletes after they sign long-term contracts and honestly feel that with contracts sky-rocketing as they are these days, MLB had every right to keep their position on this.

RELATED: MLB, players’ association plan to meet again Tuesday after sides make progress, sources say

Mets Round Out Coaching Staff With Glenn Sherlock Hire

18 Jan

Glenn Sherlock

Bench coach was the last major hole remaining on the Mets’ coaching staff, and now they’ve got someone on the case.

The team is expected to hire Glenn Sherlock — who was a former minor league catcher and Mets’ coach under Terry Collins and Mickey Callaway — to be Buck Showalter’s top confidant in the dugout. Sherlock was also a coach in the Yankees’ and Diamondbacks’ organizations while Showalter was managing there.

This lockout is really working wonders on what makes news nowadays as all this coaching news of late has gotten way too much attention.

RELATED: The Mets Found a Hitting Coach. He Was on the Yankees’ Bench.

Yes. Keith Hernandez Belongs in the Hall of Fame

15 Jan

1984 Topps Keith Hernandez

While reflecting on his career, which earned him a number retirement from the Mets and a congratulatory press conference on Wednesday, Keith Hernandez also came face-to-face with his own mortality.

Specifically, when the topic shifted to his chances of making the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the 68-year-old Hernandez said that if he does earn an induction, he’d like for it to happen while he’s still around to appreciate it. “It’s out of my hands,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been out of the game for a long time. Hopefully I’ve got another 15, 16, 17, 18 years of life. Maybe it’ll happen before I kick the bucket.”

I’m not into the analytics stuff, so I went old-school and counted 9 Hall of Fame-ish seasons for Hernandez during his career. Add to that an MVP in ’79, two World Series championships and 11 Gold Gloves and to me, Hernandez should be in there. Of course, the biggest knock will be the lack power for a 1st baseman (only 162 HRs in a 17-year career), but in his prime Keith was pretty consistent run producer with a guarantee of around 90 per year and an OBP that was always high. That said, the fact that Hernandez never got better than 10.8% in a Hall of Fame vote when he was on the ballot is mind-boggling. Time for the Veterans Committee to make up for that mistake.

Mets to Bring Back Old Timers Day

13 Jan

Mets Old Timers Day

On Wednesday, on a Zoom news conference to talk about that honor, Hernandez may have added a second new line to his resume: Newsbreaker. As he was talking about the Mets’ growing efforts under owner Steve Cohen to celebrate their history, Hernandez seemed to break the news that the team is going to hold its first Old-Timers’ Day since the 1990s this summer.

“The fact that we’re going to have an Old-Timers’ game again,” Hernandez said. “They’re going to bring in 50 players, I understand. That is fantastic.” The Mets have not announced the return of Old-Timers’ Day. Team president Sandy Alderson was asked on the same Zoom call if they plan to in 2022.

Yet another great move here by Steve Cohen in respect to Mets tradition.

Keith Hernandez To Finally Have His Number 17 Retired

11 Jan

Keith Hernandez

The Mets are going to retire Keith Hernandez’s No. 17 next season, during a ceremony on Saturday, July 9, prior to a game with the Marlins. Hernandez, the lynchpin of the Mets’ 1986 world championship team, joins Casey Stengel (37), Gil Hodges (14), Tom Seaver (41), Mike Piazza (31) and Jerry Koosman (36) to be so honored.

Hernandez played for the Mets from 1983 through 1989, acquired from the Cardinals in a trade on June 15, 1983. He hit .297 as a Met and won five Gold Gloves as a first baseman in New York. In 1984 he finished second to Ryne Sandberg in the NL MVP vote, hitting .311 with 97 RBIs.

Hernandez’s number being retired is not only long overdue, but also further testament to former owner’s Fred Wilpon’s incompetence in running the team all those years. David Wright will obviously get his number retired some day soon. But why the late, great Gary Carter hasn’t had his number retired already is beyond me.