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Sports Then and Now



Is It Time For The New York Mets To Panic? 1

Posted on April 17, 2010 by Richard Marsh
New York Mets Francoeur scores from third base after a throwing error by St. Louis Cardinals Ryan in St Louis

The New York Mets are in last place in the NL East.

Those who know me, those who follow my “Sound Offs” on “Vegas Unwrapped”, or on these and other hallowed Blog pages know if nothing else, I rarely hit the panic button nor do I demand change for the sake of change only or because of one incident alone.

It takes a lot to rattle these old bones especially when it comes to making changes in the Mets organization, particularly with the man at the helm, for it has always been my opinion that a manager does just that, manage. He doesn’t pitch one pitch, steal one base, or score one run. He is there to use his considerable skills in motivating his players to do their best and on really very few occasions will make a move within a game that can clearly determine it’s outcome. Read the rest of this entry →

A Ray of Hope Springs Eternal for the Mets 1

Posted on April 06, 2010 by Richard Marsh
Florida Marlins at New York Mets

The Mets opened the 2010 season with a big victory over the Marlins.

Perhaps they are right. Certainly 2009, nor this most recent spring training has given even the most loyal New York Mets fans some ill conceived notions that this team will win the NL East going away in a wire to wire race.

Plus the fact, regardless if you win or lose on opening day, whether it’s a blow out like today’s victory over the Florida Marlins or it’s a walk off hit, you are always reminded that this is a 162 game season and there’s still plenty of games to be played.

Fortunately the Mets have a pretty solid major league leading winning percentage on opening day despite losing that opener in it’s first  eight seasons. They are 32-9 since then and although you would like to believe that would carry through the 162 game schedule, more often than not, it hasn’t happened that way for the Mets.

The obvious pluses, those the optimists expected to see where apparent from the very first inning. Johan Santana put the Marlins down in order. In fact he got the first seven batters out before giving up his first hit. No no hitter today! Read the rest of this entry →

New York Mets: On a Brighter Note 3

Posted on April 01, 2010 by Richard Marsh
Houston Astros New York Mets Spring Training Baseball Game

Johan Santana has struggled this spring, but is still one of the best pitchers in the National League.

We are now a weekend away from the start of the 2010 Major League Baseball Season and New York Mets fans all over the planet are pulling out their remaining hair and saying to anyone who will listen “Oh no, here we go again”.

Well not so fast. True the season will start with a third of their starting team on the Disabled List but unlike last year when more than half the starters seemed to be out most of the year, this year the Mets are prepared for injuries and the substitutes they put out on the field will not resemble the 2009 version of “The
Little Sisters of the Poor”..

If Spring Training has shown Mets fans anything other than thank goodness it’s over,is the fact that the players down on the farm are hardly as bad as the media has depicted them to be. Players like Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, Josh Thole, Jenrry Mejia, Nick Evans and Rueben Tejada, to just name a few, have given Mets fans an opportunity to see a brighter future even if they may struggle in 2010. Read the rest of this entry →

The New York Mets Face a Spring Dilemma 1

Posted on March 16, 2010 by Richard Marsh
The Mets must decide where Jenrry Mejia will start the season.

The Mets must decide where Jenrry Mejia will start the season.

This is the time during Spring Training that all Major League teams starts to cut down on its rosters sending some players down to their Minor League affiliates while others are sent on their way right out of the organization.

The funny thing about this process is that there are very few surprises as to who stays and who goes. Sometimes a young player with just a little minor league experience makes such an outstanding impression the management feels that he is ready for the big leagues and they can’t see him not being with the parent club.

Steven Strasburg of the Washington Nationals comes to mind this year as he has not allowed a run in three appearances so far. It was expected that the number one overall player in last years draft would start the year perhaps even as high as AAA. He did have an advantage of playing college ball under Hall of Fame great Tony Gwynn but still there would seem to be no real reason to rush him into the fray. It’s not like the Nationals will be in the playoff hunt this year.

On Sirius/XM Radio yesterday Rob Dibble, who I love as a color commentator and sports talk show host, said when he was in his first couple of years of Spring Training and he knew he wasn’t going to make the Reds big club he actually asked the team to cut him early enough so he could get more work in the level he would be playing at. Amazing. Read the rest of this entry →

New York Mets Ready To Forget 2009 and Aim Toward 2010 1

Posted on December 18, 2009 by Richard Marsh
Astros vs Mets

The Mets didn't have a lot to cheer about in 2009.

Like all loyal and lifetime New York Mets Fans 2009 will certainly go down in Mets history as the most injury plagued season in their entire 48 seasons of National League play. Everybody knows that every member of “The Core” players were down for various amounts of time during the season and if the core played together for ten games all season long that would probably be an exaggeration.

Dirt was thrown at everybody from the ownership down to and through the medical staff, the Minor League organization and most obviously the Manager Jerry Manuel and the General Manager Omar Minaya . Nobody was as critical of these two so called professionals than me. I gave them some credit for their valiant try to finish on top in 2008 and even went so far to say that the team overachieved in getting down to the last day to decide their fate for the playoffs.

I wrote at least four articles on websites for the Mets to resign Pedro Martinez. Their rotation was a disaster coming out Spring Training and although I like and enjoy the World Baseball Classic it’s timing last year couldn’t have been worse for the Mets as 17 players left camp to play for their countries. Was it a big surprise that so many of those players who did go to the WBC come down with critical injuries during the season? I will address the WBC situation at another time. Read the rest of this entry →

New York Mets – Anatomy of a Franchise: Part 5, Grant’s Tomb 2

Posted on December 13, 2009 by Richard Marsh
For many Mets fans, the franchise low-point occurred with the trade of Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977.

For many Mets fans, the franchise low-point occurred with the trade of Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977.

1974 was a big transition year for me. For the first time in my 29 years I was venturing out of the safety net of the New York City, Connecticut, and New York State area and venturing into new uncharted Philadelphia Phillies territory down the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 4 better known to most as Cherry Hill.

We actually didn’t live there but close enough so that when people asked me where I lived that was the most recognizable. Later, after just a few months there, it became simply known as South Jersey which in reality is a state all of its own.

Unlike North Jersey that has a healthy selection of New York Mets fans, in 1974 there was only one New York Met fan in South Jersey. Me, and here I was starting a new job, in a new area still only 90 miles away that seemed like another continent.

South Jersey starts just below Trenton, goes east to the Jersey Shore to Seaside Heights, and south to Cape May. It is completely 100% Philadelphia fans in every sport out there and maybe some time somewhere in the future during football season I will tell a similar story about the Eagles, but for this series the Phillies ultimately play a pivotal role in my life. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

      Read more »

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