Tom Brennan - Jay Bruce and the Hometown 40 HR Club


Tom Brennan - Jay Bruce and the Hometown 40 HR Club

Baseball is different these days, what with expiring contracts and the like, making it unusual for teams to have guys stick around for nearly as long as they used to.

But there are two existing clubs in NYC: the Mets and the Yankees, each with a very different 40 homer season legacy.

The Mets currently tried to trade Jay Bruce (he of one of the expiring contracts at the trade deadline), but failed. 

He still could be moved via the waiver process in August for:

1) a slim return of prospects and

2) some minor salary savings (he is owed $4.5 million through year end, dropping by $80,000 per game).



You see, Wright never hit 40 as a Met...Straw didn't...Kingman didn't.

Carlos Beltran (2006) and Todd Hundley (1996), each of whom had nearly 40 going into September, both stalled and ended up with 41 each.

Mike Piazza had 40 (in just 141 games - and Mike would have had 40+ homers in 3 straight seasons for the Mets if he did not have so many games missed each year due to catching days off and injuries.  How great was he?).

Bruce has 29 dingers now, with 57 games to go.  My calculator says he's on a pace for a team record 45 homers.  Let's keep him: see what he ends up with, that's what I say.

The Yanks have always loved and prized power hitters. 

In fact, collectively, they have had at least 10 hitters with 40 or more in a season, as follows:

BABE RUTH - 11 times with 40 or more; 4 over 50, 60 once.

LOU GEHRIG - 5 times with 40 or more. Triples?  See below.

MICKEY MANTLE - 40 or more 4 times, 2 of those over 50.

A ROD - twice as Yank (54, 48) (8 total seasons over 40).

JASON GIAMBI - twice hit 41 as a Yank.  The Giambino.

CURTIS GRANDERSON - hit 43 and 41 as a Yank.

ROGER MARIS - hit 61 and got an asterisk for his efforts.

JOE DIMAGGIO - hit 46 once in huge Yanks' LF/CF cavern.

REGGIE JACKSON - hit 41 once (and 47 as an A).

TINO MARTINEZ - hit 44 once.

That's 30 individual times with 40 or more, and 29 of those times equaling or exceeding the Mets' record of 41, while the Mets record have just those 3 instances of 40 or more.

"Say Hey", someone might say.  I say, let's not even get into the 40 HR clubs of 2 ex-NY teams, the Giants and Dodgers.

Come on: forget the future for a minute and live in the "Now".

Let's make it 4 with 40 + for the Mets - keep Jay Bruce - let him give it a shot at 40 - or 45.  Don't trade him.

Looking at all time stats, David Wright is the Mets' all time leader in doubles (390) and RBIs (970).  Those numbers would put him just 6th all time on the Yanks list in doubles and 14th in RBIs.  Straw Man's 252 Mets homers would have him #10 on the all time Yanks list.  Anything we can do to make progress in Yanks vs. Mets power #s I am all for.

Last interesting note: how many three baggers as Yankees did Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earl Combs and Joe DiMaggio have?

If you guessed 553, you are correct!  553 triples!  In Gehrig's first 6 full years in baseball, he alone had close to 100 triples.  Even Jose Reyes, Amed Rosario's older brother, would say "Wow".


Thomas Brennan said...

Off topic, but Robles kept pitching despite a numb arm and fingers yesterday. Told no one. And walked in the winning run. Clearly he is also a numb skull. Numb nuts might also be an apt description.

Meanwhile, many Mets fans got a little more numb about the rest of 2017.

Where the heck is Dominic Smith?

Thomas Brennan said...

Also off topic, but Bruce's fellow slugger is heating up: Yoenis Cespedes was 13-for-41 (.317) on the road trip with two homers and eight RBIs. Health helps.

Thomas Brennan said...

Also off topic, first rounder David Peterson debuts for Brooklyn tonight.

Reese Kaplan said...

I did not see the game so someone will have to confirm, but didn't the coaches have to make a trip to the mound in the 8th due to a Robles potential injury issue. Wasn't anyone who is paid handsomely to observe the behavior and mechanics of pitchers notice something was off? Then they let him go out for ANOTHER inning? Sure, Robles didn't execute but the guys paid to make in-game lineup changes should have noticed what was happening.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, neither did I see it, but one would certainly think so.

Hobie said...

The whole menagerie will go on wavers IMO, the question is what is the appropriate response if claimed?
For Bruce, I want something of value back, and withdraw waivers if no offer is sufficient (offer QO and attempt to re-sign in Nov). i.e I don't think Bruce is moved.

Yet, moving one of Bruce, Granderson, Cabrera or Walker is probably a prequisite for Dominic getting a FT 1B gig. As there is outside chance of retaining Walker or Cabrera (certainly not both) post 2017, I'd want something in return for them also (probably settle for less than my Bruce return). Granderson is sadly different. Great guy but no chance of returning, so if he's claimed, he's gone. Faint pulling the waive to get something, but if claimant doesn't bite, let go. And the AmedDom era begins.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hobie, I'd like to see them move any of those guys but Bruce, because I have always loved homer records. It might benefit the Mets at the gate a bit too, if he reaches and breaks the team record.

Mack Ade said...

Bruce has the same amount of RBIs this year as... Aaron Judge.

Enough said.

Eddie Corona said...

no friggin way... I hope he doesn't hit another HR the rest of the way... this isnt a JOSE REYES running for the batting crown (someone who has been with us and been a part of the team for years)... every HR is opportunity for another win which actually hurts us...
any fan worth his salt should be rooting for every loss... so we can maybe get a top 5 pick and higher draft money...

Look at your list Hundley , Piazza, Beltran (guys who you would want to wear their jersey) and Bruce... where was this last season when it actually mattered... no I am not a bruce hater... if he comes back next season depending on how much (but not for 3 or more years) then fine i could see it... but as far as this season goes... he can tank like he did last season...

Hobie said...

Sorry, Eddie, but I can't root to lose. May take some consolation in a bad year yielding a higher draft choice, and may lose interest in a game out-of-hand early, but that's not the same.

Eddie Corona said...

Hobbie, I get it... its not fun to watch games and Hope to lose...
But to me 86 was a long time ago... and I dont care that we went the WS 3 times and lost...
I want to win and to win we need talent... This team doesn't spend well in free agency... (when they do spend they pay flawed players) ... they don't do well enough in the International market... (for every Rosario there are 10 Fernando Martinez)
SO the only shot is the draft and since they are poor at that too give me the highest possible pick...
I cannot miss if i didn't have a chance to take them...
SO for me I want to WIN and you know when your team looks like a winner... or lose... anything in between is the worse spot in sports...

Hobie said...

I don't really know how to explain this, but here goes...

I guess I have I different perspective on sports in general. I enjoy the drama of the Game and a rooting interest amps up the drama. (Though I enjoy the drama of March Madness, for example, without a rooting interest.)

The game in front of me as drama, is the pleasure of witnessing a contest with an outcome in doubt to the last out. Sometimes it's a tragic, but that negative thrill is legit drama. I didn't demand my money back when Butch & Sundance didn't escape.

Greatest of all, of course, is a "Game 6." Honestly would you have traded that for 4-game, no-contest sweep? I know some that would. They project their lives on some group of athletes through which they vicariously succeed or fail. That's just not the way I experience sports.

Mack Ade said...

Bruce cleared waivers today...

Reese Kaplan said...

The fact he cleared waivers actually says more about his LACK of desirability than a portent of a trade taking place. If another team wanted him, they could have put in a claim and offered to pay the Mets his remaining salary. They, of course, could have pulled him back. Now they're free to trade him just as they were last winter and prior to the July 31st trade deadline. I don't think it means anything other than the fact they are keeping their options open.

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