Mack’s Morning Report – 12-30 – Duke Snider and My Brother, Piazza Voting


Joe Posnanski -

In 1952, Duke Snider hit four home runs in the World Series. He was the first man since Lou Gehrig to do so. In Game 6, his Brooklyn Dodgers were a game away from clinching their first World Series ever — against the hated Yankees no less — and Snider tried to singlehandedly take over. In the sixth inning of a scoreless game, Snider crashed a long home run against Vic Raschi. In that moment, everyone in Brooklyn could almost feel victory.

But the Yankees were great. Yogi Berra homered. Raschi himself singled in a run. A young Mickey Mantle blasted a home run of his own. The Yankees led 3-1 in the eighth when Snider came up again. And he homered again. There was hope in Brooklyn, hope that maybe Snider would come up one more time. He didn’t. The Dodgers lost again.

But here’s the thing: While Duke Snider was hitting those home runs — even with the huge crowds and deafening cheers and baseball glory — you know what he was thinking? He said he was thinking about being an avocado farmer. The idea of a normal life, raising avocados in his home state of California, that’s what filled his mind. The ballplayer’s life had left him cold and bored and even a little bitter. http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/no-70-duke-snider/

Mack – Duke Snider was, and always will be, my brother’s favorite baseball player.

We grew up on the border street of Ozone Park and Richmond Hill, Queens, New York (95th Avenue and 106th Street). Both of us were actually born in a walk-up on 98th Street and Atlantic Avenue, but my mother and father moved us to our ‘new’ home when I was around four.

We were both devout Brooklyn Dodgers fans and my ‘hero’ was Gil Hodges. My brother had the added pressure of being part of the debate on who was the best centerfielder in the city, Snider, Mickey Mantle, or Willie Mays. Frankly, I and most of those around us would remind him that Snider frankly came in a distant third in that debate.

Snider batted third, right after SS Pee Wee Reese and before 1B Hodges. I still though the Dodgers had that lineup wrong. As much as I was a fan of Hodges, Snider was the real cleanup hitter on tht team.

It was hurtfully sad to see what little of each of these two players were left when they became New York Mets. Snider was sold to the Mets in 1962 and played there for two seasons. He ended his career a year later for the arch-enemy of old days, the Giants.

My brother and I never went to a Mets game together, but I do remember multiple trips to Brooklyn to watch ‘The Bums’ play. We went with a friend of ours, Billy Fitzmaurice, who was sent upstate after murdering another friend of mine named Mucho. They were walking down Liberty Avenue on day, arguing about the Giants and Dodgers and Billy smashed a wine bottle over Mucho’s head.

I sort of remember taking the A train to Ebbets Field back in those days. You would think the 22 bus on Atlantic Avenue would have made more sense, but that’s what I remember, so it must be right.

I went to other games (with classmates) after getting out of school at JHS 171 on Flatbush Avenue. We’d get there around the fourth inning and the guards at the gate would let us in free

My brother and I never stood a chance. He was almost three years older than me and had the added burden of basically raising me. My mother died when I was six and my father worked three jobs when he wasn’t drinking himself to death. My brother grew up early, basically lived at his first wife’s home when I was a teenager, and we drifted further apart each year, but we will always have those few, precious days we spent in Ebbets Field rooting for ‘Gil and The Duke’.

Hey, it could have been a wine bottle.


Dan Shaughnessy -

Thomas, Glavine, and Maddux are on the ballot for the first time. All have Hall numbers. None was tainted by the steroid era.

The numbers are obvious. Thomas hit 521 homers, same as Ted Williams and Willie McCovey. Glavine and Maddux were 300-game winners. Those are magic plateaus . . . unless you cheated.

Nobody thinks Glavine or Maddux cheated. That’s probably because of their body types. Glavine looked athletic, but nothing out of the ordinary. Maddux looked like he played slow-pitch softball. He should be unanimous. But, of course, he won’t be unanimous.

Thomas had a Popeye body, but was never suspected of being a ’roids guy. Lucky him.

This is where we go off the rails. Like Thomas, guys such as Piazza and Bagwell have Hall of Fame numbers and never tested positive for PEDs. But they look dirty. Something doesn’t make sense. Thomas makes sense.

This is where it gets unfair and subjective. I don’t vote for the PED guys, so it’s easy to say no to Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, and Palmeiro. They have positive tests and/or admissions and/or multiple appearances in the Mitchell Report. Piazza and Bagwell have none of that. They just don’t look right.

Mack – I guess ‘not looking right’ to someone half their age who never swung a bat in organized ball is enough to take you dreams away.

I go back and forth on this issue, all the way back to Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, and the spitball error.

I will tell you this… the controversy goes away the second you invite all of them in based on the stats produced, not what they did to their own body to produce those stats.

No one would write about this again and they could close that stupid Rose museum down the road as well.

J.P. Ricciardi on the draft -

“One of the things that is happening in baseball right now, that I scratch my head with its young players are so overvalued right now, and I think falls in with the draft picks, too. Listen, I get it. No one builds through the draft. You add through the draft,”

You cant build a team through the draft because they just dont all work out. But you can supplement your system, and I get all that. But if youre telling me I have a chance to get Curtis Granderson over a second round pick I think I’m going to take my chances with a proven major league player as opposed to maybe a high school or college kid that may or may not become  Granderson.

Hindsight is 20-20 and we can all go back and look at guys where they were drafted and what happened to them, but in the end, the major league players, the proven major league player, has a lot more value to me than the Double A kid, the Triple A kid or even the kid who is drafted. I wouldn’t hesitate to give up a draft pick. If I’m the Houston Astros or a club like that who is still building, I might not be as engaged to do it. But if Im a club that is looking to get closer to being good, I might be more inclined to do it.’€


         Mack - The important part of this quote has nothing to do with Ruben Tejada. What's important is someone in the Mets organization has finally said something that makes sense about the value of draft picks vs. an established star

Look... no one loves a great draft pick more than me and I was in my cups in 2008 when the Mets had three first round picks in the first 33 picks in what the experts said was a very talented draft. So, who did we wind up with? Ike Davis, Reese Havens, and Brad Holt.

All three of these guys had the school-cred to picked this high, but this is a tricky game and, in this case, three guys went down three different roads, none of which have proven out to be successful.

Stop worrying about any loss of a third round draft pick. I'll take a shortstop or relief pitcher that has already earned his reputation in the majors in a heartbeat.

After that, the Mets are welcomed to go back and impress us in the draft war room.



Anonymous said...

I agree, Mack. We should figure out what to do with the coming pitching surplus from the minors, trading it for established hitting. I as a Met fan am tired of looking like the 98 lb. kid getting sand kicked in his face at the beach by the muscular guy. Let's get a team that can pitch great - and hit. Make the right trades at the right time, of course...but it would be great as a Met fan to have the league's top offense too.

Mets Dreams said...

I wonder what the price point is for the Mets to commit to Drew? If the Mets can sign him, then Tejada can become the utility player that seems to fit his skill set. If the Mets (Wilpons) can get their wallets around the idea of the Mets being at least a mid-market level spending team, then signing Drew is a no-brainer. Then Sandy can do some of his bargain hunting to fill in. Stick Montero in the opening day rotation and see how it goes.

Mack Ade said...

My guess is Sandy Alderson wants Drew but only on a two-year basis.

One good thing is Drew is running out of options. Most of the other teams that still want to deal for a shortstop have gone in the other direction.

My guess is the chief competition here would be Boston, who is a safe zone with a one year contract to welcome Drew back.

Also, the Mets still need to move Davis to make the money work here.

steve said...

Sandy is doing a Great job,at waiting out the market for Drew. If Sandy signs Drew it will be at his price and at his terms! Thank god Sandy has the best interests for the future. I'd still like to see them go get Dee Gordon,if he could be had at a decent trade? But s time goes the more and more im really buying into what Sandy is doing. I do see Sandy bringing in a Dice k,to compete for the 5th spot. Also a Gregg to compete in the back end of the pen. Its going to take time to get the offense up to the top of the league. But Sandy is showing patience and with the young pitching and Plawecki the Mets will have trade options for the offensive upgrade.

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