Rainy Day Nonsense: Top 10 Best Famous, Infamous or Otherwise Mets-Related Quotes Ever
Rain Rain Go Away
Well this sucks. The Mets rubber game vs the Gnats is all wet. Well, we could spend the afternoon discussing whether David Wright screwed up, and whether Willie handled it correctly telling the press it was an "obvious mental mistake," but who wants to talk about the weather?
There's an interesting argument in today's New York Times by Joe Sheehan, "Why 100 Pitches Don't go as Far as they Used To." On the subject of modern pitchers' stamina and pitch counts, Sheehan opines that since they lowered the mound in the late 1960s, ballparks and strikezones shrank, and power hitters bulked up and started making up larger parts of any given team's lineups, pitchers must work harder to get through the opposition's lineups. Thus the pitchers can't make it through games and are kept on pitch counts to protect them from the changing game. "Old Schooler" Bert Blyleven thinks this is bs, and that "The more you throw, the better off you are." The league is basically turning pitchers into sissies. I dunno, half of me says Blyleven's right, and they should let pitchers finish games in the minors and in college. Something must have changed since the good old days. I think weight training and the escalation of salaries have played a role in this mystery too. In particular, they should study what sorts of weight training pitchers are doing. And I'd love to see a study on injury rates. Then there's the expansion-induced watering down of the league, and good old performance enhancing drugs to consider.
Anyhow, having recently reread the classic telling of the 86 Met's story, Jeff Pearlman's The Bad Guys Won! I am wondering, where have all the colorful players gone? The whole league, aside from our own fur coat wearing Mex master, has been Jeterized, and no one outside of the raving's of Ozzie Guillen or the ego of Gary Sheffield says anything remotely interesting anymore. So I threw together this list to keep you busy on this rainy day.
These are actual quotes spoken by actual Mets or Related Characters.
10. "You're next!"
--noted asshole and tragic figure Darryl Strawberry to Gary Carter, reportedly said this after punching Keith Hernandez at team photo shoot in spring of 1989.
9. Mets ex-GM Steve Phillips saying he used to tell Vaughn to pretend foul pops were "cheeseburgers."
(See this Daily News article (published June 14) is talking about how Phillips trashed the Yankees during an ESPN radio appearance, comparing the team to the 2002 and 2003 Mets and comparing Jason Giambi to Mo Vaughn. This quote makes the cut because it shows that Steve Phillips is stupid while demonstrates that Steve Phillips was under no illusions when he acquired the big dud.)
8. “My wife wanted a big diamond.”
--Mookie Wilson on why he was married on a baseball field (Pearlman, 2004: p.103)
7. “We were throwbacks, man. We were like, ‘Gimme a steak, gimme a fuckin’ beer, gimme a smoke, and get the fuck out of our way.”
--Bob Ojeda (quoted in Pearlman, p.87)
6. “You don’t win a World Series drinking milk.”
--Doug Sisk (Pearlman, p74 )
5. "I wanted to get people's attention. There are always tons of reporters here when something bad is happening. I don't like a lot of them...What are they going to do? Fine me?"
--Bret Saberhagen in 1993, admitting to lighting a firecracker and throwing it under a table near reporters in the Shea Stadium clubhouse on July 7.
4. "I know you are all gonna try, but you're not going to be able to wipe this smile off my face."
--Baseball bust Bobby Bonilla in 1992 to reporters, as he is introduced as the Mets new $29 million dollar man.
3. "The nightmares are that you're gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs."
--Bill Buckner, during a TV interview before Game One of 1986 World Series against the Mets (quoted in Pearlman, p.246)
2. "Nobody told me I was in competition. If there is competition, somebody better let me know. If there is competition, they better eliminate me out of the race and go ahead and do what they're going to do with me. I ain't never hit in spring training and I never will. If it ain't settled with me out there, then they can trade me. I ain't going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is [a competition], then I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown.' Tell them exactly what I said. I haven't competed for a job since 1991."
--Derek Bell, mediocre and fading but still proud (and classy) ex- Mets outfielder (Ok, Bell was a Pirate at the time, but it still makes me chuckle everytime I hear it. It's Rickey-esque. Bell and his gigantic balls had been traded to the Mets after he wore out his welcome on the Astros when, upset about playing time, he confronted the manager of his old team Larry Dierker on July 22, the day of Dierker's return from a month-long absence after emergency brain surgery. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports columnist Mark Madden summarized the incident with "Derek Bell becomes the ultimate Pirate: Lives on a boat and steals money." On April 20, 2006, Bell was charged with felony cocaine possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, after police found a warm crack pipe in the back seat of his car during a traffic stop. Anyhow, he got one thing right, he certainly HADN'T competed since 1991.
1. "I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf. "
--Tug McGraw when asked about his preference for grass or astroturf; this quote is often unfairly overshadowed by the greatest of all Mets quotes, Tug's immortal "Ya gotta believe" but is worthy just the same.