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Mets Morning News: RIP The Franchise

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Your Thursday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

Tom Seaver Pitching

Meet the Mets

Michael Conforto went 4-for-5 in a 9-4 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore that snapped a five-game losing streak for the Mets. Michael Wacha went just three innings in his second start back from the injured list and struggled with his control in the second inning, but held the Orioles to two runs. He departed after the third inning with the game still tied and David Peterson took over, tossing four scoreless innings in relief and earning the victory. The Mets’ bats unloaded against the Orioles bullpen, putting up a four spot in the eighth inning to open up a comfortable lead. Miguel Castro tossed a scoreless inning against his former team in his Mets debut and Justin Wilson worked around some bad defense behind him in the ninth to finish things off.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Newsday, MLB.com, North Jersey, Daily News, NY Post, ESPN

Yesterday evening, it was announced that Tom Seaver—Mets legend, Hall of Fame pitcher, The Franchise—has died at the age of 75 from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19.

Commissioner Rob Manfred referred to Seaver as “one of the greatest pitchers of all-time” and “a household name to baseball fans” in a statement.

Fred and Jeff Wilpon also released a statement, saying in part that he earned his nickname and the first player number ever retired by the organization “because of how valuable he truly was to our organization and our loyal fans.”

Immediately after the news of Seaver’s passing broke last night, tributes and stories began pouring in from all over baseball. MLB Network ran a tribute video recalling how Tom Seaver transformed the Mets forever.

“Everyone knows he was a great pitcher. But he was an even greater person,” wrote Dwight Gooden on Twitter. He went on to say in a statement that Seaver was one of the first people to call him when he won his Cy Young Award. “That meant the world to me,” he said.

Ron Darling recalled asking Seaver once at dinner what all the baseballs were in the drawers of his study—61 of them. “Ah, those are shutouts,” Seaver replied.

“Tom represented our childhood,” said Gary Cohen on SNY. “He was a light that we could all look to. He was the one person who changed the entire notion of what it was to be a New York Mets fan.”

A Tweet from Keith Hernandez read: “I am deeply saddened of the passing of Tom Seaver. I had the honor of unsuccessfully hitting against him & having as a teammate. He is the greatest Met of all time. No one will ever surpass him that wears the orange & blue. My condolences to Nancy & his family. Tears.”

Howie Rose tweeted: “This is impossible to process. I’ve been asked to talk about Tom Seaver ever since the news broke and I feel like I’m talking in circles. I’m numb. There simply are no words. I was privileged to know him as a boyhood idol, colleague and friend. Cherish the memories. Godspeed.”

“Wow, that’s tough,” manager Luis Rojas said, immediately after he found out about Seaver’s passing. “It’s terrible news, especially for the Mets family.”

Other Mets franchise icons added their voices to the chorus. Mike Piazza, David Wright, and Jacob deGrom all released statements on Seaver’s passing.

“RIP #41. The original Met Legend,” tweeted Noah Syndergaard.

Seaver’s 1969 teammates recalled what a fierce competitor and great leader he was, saying they instantly knew from the moment he joined the team that he would do great things.

Tom Seaver was the “truest definition of a hero,” wrote Mike Vaccaro in the New York Post.

The Cincinnati Reds also released a statement on Seaver’s passing, calling him “one of the best and most inspirational pitchers to play the game.”

Seattle Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto posted a video telling a story of how he got a signed baseball from his favorite player, Tom Seaver.

Howie Rose contributed to The Athletic’s “The Comeback” series—which counts down the 40 greatest comebacks in sports history—taking a look back at Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, which ranks 7th on the list.

Prior to yesterday’s victory, Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post feared that the Mets—still mathematically very much alive in the playoff hunt—were starting to go through the motions.

“Sad news for sure. My idol growing up was Tom Seaver. I am forever grateful and blessed to have been able to befriend this great man,” wrote Al Leiter on Twitter.

“It’s a good surprise. I didn’t expect it, but at the same time it’s very good,” Todd Frazier said about being traded to the Mets. He is very happy to be back.

Around the National League East

The Braves defeated the Red Sox 7-5 at Fenway Park in historic fashion. Adam Duvall belted three home runs the game after Marcell Ozuna did so the day before—the first teammates in baseball history to ever have three home run games on consecutive days.

Much like the Mets, the Braves are having to piece together their rotation week by week. On Friday, they will start Josh Tomlin and the newly acquired Tommy Milone in a doubleheader against the Nationals.

Sixto Sanchez lost his first game as a Marlin in a 2-1 pitchers’ duel against Hyun Jin Ryu and the Blue Jays.

Zack Wheeler put forward another dominant performance, out-dueling Max Scherzer as the Phillies beat the Nationals 3-0, handing the 2019 champions their fifth straight loss.

Around Major League Baseball

Evan Drellich of The Athletic took a deep dive into who Rob Manfred is as Commissioner after five years with him running Major League Baseball.

MLB Pipeline’s midseason farm rankings came out on Tuesday, with the Rays, Tigers, and Padres making up the top three farm systems in baseball. The Mets were ranked 20th.

Laura Albanese of Newsday covered all the drama between the Yankees and the Rays. Aroldis Chapman was suspended for three games and Kevin Cash and Aaron Boone were each suspended for one game. Cash and Boone served their suspensions yesterday. Chapman is appealing his suspension, saying he had no intention of hitting anybody.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Chris McShane covered the news of Tom Seaver’s passing and encouraged the community to share their Seaver memories with us.

Vas Drimalitis summed up yesterday’s Mets roster moves.

Steve Sypa took a look back at R.A. Dickey’s near-perfect game in his Great Moments in Mets Minor League History series.

This Date in Mets History

Craig Swan made the first start of his career on this date in 1973.