An era ended on this date, 2010. And we still say better days are ahead. The day after GM Omar Minaya's fourth consecutive season of disappointment, the axe came down on him. Jerry, too.
Minaya was a guy to root for. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Queens, he was a talent in scouting talent -- somehow more romantic than a grad of Harvard Law. He built a fun team. We have him to thank for Beltran, Pedro, Delgado, moves that put us over the edge in '06, and kept us decent on its coattails. He just, for whatever reason, had no footing on the downslope. Minaya is a Senior VP with the Padres and we wish him well.
Jerry Manuel I knew as a White Sox manager, and as I always found Willie Randolph nerve-rackingly uptight, I welcomed Jerry's cool to the Mets. But as it turned out, he was too cool to fire up brain cells. Jerry is an "analyst" for the MLB network and we wish him whatever.
In 2010, the Texan Dennis Cook (turns 49) took the reigns of the Swedish National Baseball team and faced off against Team Italy's skipper, Mike Piazza, in a tournament. Cook pitched 15 years in the major leagues and he was a Met reliever from 1998-2001, posting a 113 ERA+ and striking out better than one man an inning.
Game of Note
On October 4, 2006, 56,979 fans watched the Mets tangle with the Dodgers at Shea Stadium in the first tilt of the NLDS. Johnny Maine took the mound against Derek Lowe. In the second inning, one of the stranger plays you'll ever see saw Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew tagged out in succession at the plate. Kent had misread the double to right field and, coming around, Drew nipped close at his heels. Both were cattle to the slaughter. In the fourth inning, Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd each homered, the former beginning a four-hit night. David Wright doubled home a pair in the sixth for the 4-1 lead. But to begin the seventh, Guillermo Mota gave it all back in his second inning of work. The Mets started the bottom half with their top of the order, though, and she ran like clockwork. Reyes walked and stole; Beltran walked; Delgado singled; Wright doubled; and the game was 6-4 Mets. Billy Wagner served up a run trying to close 'er out, which brought the Dodgers a whisker away. But the window slammed down on that whisker. The 2006 Mets had won 97 games + 1.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president, was born on October 4, 1822. Between Jackson (6th president) and Lincoln (16th), and between Grant (18th) and Theodore Roosevelt (26th), not a single president served two consecutive terms. So don't go looking for Hayes in your change purse. In fact few even know that his vice presidential candidate played for the Mets.