It's a very sad day for Mets fans as news of Gary Carter's death will be dominating the headlines today. Carter was among my favorite players from the 1980's Mets clubs which will always likely be the ones many Mets fans remember the most fondly of any squads the Mets have assembled. Carter's career numbers were very impressive, ranking him among the all time greats at the position.
Carter was inducted into the hall in 2003. His induction speech can be read here and watched here. Several former teammates have already had the chance to reflect on Carter's passing, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Mookie Wilson, HoJo, and Darryl Strawberry among them. I'm sure we'll be seeing tribute to Carter all day today, but they'll all have a hard time topping Joe Posnanski's piece form early this morning. I'll always feel fortunate that Carter was a Met while I was just learning the nuances of the game.
Back in 2009, BtB took a look at the top catchers of all time by WAR. It actually surprised me to see just how highly Carter ranked when I first read that, but the more traditional "methods" of ranking players all seem to agree that Carter was among the games all time elite (some random examples of which can be found here, here, and here). The flagrant fan also took a look at the 16 best single seasons by catchers, and to nobody's surprise Carter made his way onto that list as well.
There's been a little other stuff going on in Mets land today, and with pitchers and catchers reporting in just three days it should surprise nobody that we're starting to see more and more on the hurlers. Johan Santana is scheduled to begin throwing off of a mound again this week for the first time since last fall, and how he looks will go a long way in determining how the Mets fare as a team this season.
There will also likely be quite a bit of focus on Matt Harvey. Andy McCullough took a peek in at what's been going on with Harvey thus far this season, and I don't think it would surprise too many here if we see him in the majors by mid-season.
Newsday also had some more depressing news about the Wilpon's financial situation. If their sources are to be believed, the Mets have been struggling to meet payroll based on the income of the team itself for years. That wouldn't be a good sign going forward for those hoping to see the payroll back among the league's highest. Sandy and company might need to be a little extra shrewd going forward, so knowing what positions have been costing less per WAR may be helpful.
That's all for today, but we'll leave you with what turned out to be the final hit of Gary Carter's career...three more days until we'll have more baseball: