Today, November 9th, might just live on in my memory as one of the greatest days in Mets fan history. Gary Cohen, voice of the Mets on WFAN radio (and Number 2 man overall next to Bob Murphy for about 15 years prior to becoming #1), will take over as the play-by-play man on Mets telecasts on the Mets' new television network beginning next season. Ted Robinson, to coin one of Cohen's calls, "IS OUTTA HERE!" The Mets wanted someone who was exclusive to the Mets as their voice on the new network, and Ted Robinson (for some reason) is in high demand, what with all the tennis, college football, and other sports he covers elsewhere for other companies. The Mets made a great move. I wonder if Howie Rose will take over the number one spot on the radio, with Ed Coleman moving from pre-and-post-game coverage to the booth. That would be OK...but the radio won't be the same without Cohen. I'll live with listening to others on car rides to NYC, though, having Cohen for the majority of the games when I watch on TV. (There's still no word on a color commentator, but the Mets would be very wise to snatch up Keith Hernandez, who has done fabulous work in a limited role with the Mets until now. I don't mind seeing the harmless but dopey Fran Healy take a hike. And the Mets have to keep Ralph Kiner on in some capacity.)
What will a baseball season be without me complaining about the broadcasters? I can't wait...and there will actually be good baseball to watch!
A Hot Stove Update: Word out of the meetings in California is that the Mets are talking to the Devil Rays about a deal that would get them Aubrey Huff and Danys Baez. The Mets would have to give up some combination of Aaron Heilman, Yesmiro Petit, and others. Both Baez and Huff are entering the final years of their contracts. That would be OK, because Huff would fill a need opposite Mike Jacobs at first base, but I think the Mets would be better off not dealing Heilman. Too many times they've gotten rid of someone who's gone on to star with another team, and I think this might happen with him. He found his niche last year, and I would love to see him become their closer, a la Jason Isringhausen with Oakland. (Unsuccessful young starter, turned successful closer.) Baez has Armando Benitez written all over him - he just hasn't shown he can shut the door in key situations.
I should note here that it doesn't look like Braden Looper will be brought back. Also, Doug Mientkiewicz will not come back. The Mets have brought back Steve Trachsel.
One more thing - apparently, even though he says he doesn't want to come to the Mets, the Mets are still interested in working out a deal for Manny Ramirez (he has veto power). The Mets think if the Angels get Paul Konerko, they won't be interested in Ramirez (nor could they afford him), and they might be able to get back in the picture. Then they would be able to deal Baez and/or Huff to Boston as part of the Ramirez deal. This is BAD news. The best news to come out of Boston in 20 years was that Manny didn't want to go to the Mets. Leave it be.
I owe my fans a final update on the events they followed this whole (second half) of the baseball season.
ELTRAN*'S: The final numbers on Carlos Beltran*'s second half, needless to say, were disappointing. 266 AB, 71 hits - .267 AVG. 45 HR, 6 HR (he hit 8 in the previous postseason!!! - this is the second half of an entire season!!), 34 RBI. 13 SB. It better be a good year next year. For those of you dying to know, over the full season, Beltran* was:
.266, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 83 Runs, 17 SB. Whoopee.
WRIGHT WATCH: It's never too late to run a Wright Watch. David Wright finished the season with 42 doubles, 2 shy of the club record. A shame. But he'll re-write (re-WRIGHT?) the Mets' record books before he's done. FYI - he dwarfed Beltran*'s numbers, catching fire over the final weeks of the season. Here's Wright's final numbers:
.306, 27 HR, 102 RBI, 99 Runs, 17 SB. That's up there in "Greatest Mets seasons ever" territory.
Speaking of which, Cliff Floyd, after that torrid start, slowed waaay down...finishing with 34 HR and 98 RBI and a .273 AVG.
I'll see if I can do periodic Hot Stove Updates throughout the off-season.