1/23/11

Cutnpaste: - Number 24, Ron Swoboda, Carlos Gomez, Blaine Boyer, and Todd Hundley

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Number 24:

Willie was probably the reason I became a Mets fan. The “Say Hey Kid” was my dad’s all-time favorite player, having watched him play in the Polo Grounds for the New York Giants. When Mays returned to New York as a Met in 1972 and 1973, my father instantly became a diehard Mets fan (after the Giants went to the Left Coast, he became an anti-Yankees fan). I was just a toddler, and while my dad was watching the Mets games, he would pick me up from my coloring book (or Lincoln Logs, or Legos, or whatever toddler-type thing I was doing) and set me in front of the TV every time Mays came to bat — so I could see “the greatest player who ever lived”. I was only three years old, but the images of blue and orange were forever burned in my brain as a result of those weekend afternoon “Mays breaks” from kiddie activities - link  



Ron Swoboda:

Swoboda was signed by the Mets on September 5, 1963 . In 1964 he was assigned to the Mets’ AA farm team at Williamsport, PA , and made the parent team out of Spring Training in 1965. By the time the All -Star break , Ron had 15 home runs . This the most by a Mets rookie ever in the first half. Not even Darryl Strawberry or Ike Davis came close. During his early years with the Mets, Ron was nicknamed ” Rocky” due to his result of his shaky fielding. He possessed a strong, accurate throwing arm, to complement his power bat. 1968 was possibly Ron’s best season offensively. He batted .281 with thirteen home runs drove in 53 RBIs. He also had a career high fourteen outfield assists. - link  



Carlos Gomez:

Carlos Gomez has to be one of the more fortunate young players in baseball. Despite a steady flow of suckitude over the past three years, the 25-year-old is in line to be Milwaukee's primary center fielder in 2011. It's not the first time he's stumbled into a job he's not equipped for. Most guys don't land an everyday job on a good team with decent-but-not-great numbers in Triple-A and horrid MLB performance, but that's pretty much how Gomez ended up as Minnesota's regular center fielder in 2008. Well, that, and the fact that the Twins wanted to show that they got something in return for Johan Santana (they didn't). - link



Blaine Boyer:

The Mets have signed RHP Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal and have invited him to spring training in lovely Port St. Lucie. The 29-year-old Boyer had some success with the Braves earlier in his career, but last year with the Diamondbacks he walked the same number of batters as he struck out -- 29 -- in 57 innings of work. His walk rate was quite a bit better in 2009, a year he split between Atlanta, St. Louis, and Arizona -- but his strikeout rate was still shameful. There is one thing Boyer does extraordinarily well, and that's generate ground balls. His 3.08 ground ball ratio was the fourth best mark in baseball last season, and the corollary is that he also does a fine job preventing home runs. - link  

Todd Hundley:

Did he juice? Who knows, but he came up a skinny kid in 1990 known for his defense, and set the record for most homers as a catcher (40 in 1996) just a few years later, until it was broken by Javy Lopez in 2003. 71 homers, 198 RBI, and a .922 OPS over two years are dominant for a catcher. Only Piazza was better offensively during that time. Will always give him credit for trying to play the outfield in ‘98, although it was painful to watch. link  

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