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This Date In Mets History: July 10 - Trading For Jeff Francoeur And Matt Franco Wins It Against Mariano Rivera

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(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

On July 10, 2007, the Mets sent three starters to the 78th All-Star Game in San Francisco: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and David Wright. The trio combined to go 5-for-10 with two runs scored. Reyes added a stolen base and probably would have been named the game's Most Valuable Player had the NL managed to win. As it was, teammate Billy Wagner allowed a two-out, two-run homer to Victor Martinez in the eighth inning and the Senior Circuit fell by a score of 5-4. In two All-Star appearances with the Mets, Wagner racked up an ERA of 20.25. His 16.88 ERA in the 2006 NLCS looks downright Koufaxian in comparison. Then again, Carlos Beltran struck out looking one time, so #BlameBeltran.

Birthdays

  • Bob Bailor (1981-1983) turns 61. In his three seasons as a utility player for the Mets, Bailor saw action at every spot on the diamond, save for pitcher, catcher, and first base. Ultimately, he provided the most value to the team from the position of trade bait. After the 1983 season, Bailor was sent to the Dodgers in the deal that brought Sid Fernandez to New York.
  • Larry Burright (1963-1964) turns 75. According to his Baseball Reference page, Burright is one two major leaguers with the nickname "Possum". The page isn't clear on what a man does to earn the a nickname of "Possum".

Transactions

On this date in 2009, GM Omar Minaya finally acquiesced to fan demands that he trade the core TRAID 4 TEH COEUR, sending Ryan Church to Atlanta for outfielder/smile machine Jeff Francoeur. Minutes after the swap was announced, I received a text message from a Braves fan friend that read, in its entirety, "hahahahahaha!" That said, Francouer did play well after the TRAID. His play and megawatt grin were bright spots in an otherwise dismal season. I've done my best to forget 2009, but if memory serves correctly, the Mets even played a night game where the sole source of illumination was the gleam of Francouer's pearly white incisors.

Game of Note

On July 10, 1999, the Mets trailed the Yankees 8-7 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as pinch-hitter Matt Franco stepped into the box to face Mariano Rivera. A foul ball and a called strike quickly put Franco in an 0-2 hole against the dominant reliever. Rivera's next delivery was a knee-high cutter that home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg felt was a smidgeon too low, eliciting some audible consternation from Yankees' manager Joe Torre. Given a reprieve from the man in blue, Franco pulled the fourth pitch of the at-bat through the right side of the infield, plating Rickey Henderson from third and Edgardo Alfonzo from second. Final score: Mets 9, Yankees 8.