This is about a week late, but Hall of Famer Gary Carter is a champion once again. He managed the Orange County Flyers to the Golden League Championship - his third championship game appearance in three years of managing, and his second championship in that span.
Just a heads-up to all those who think Jerry Manuel hasn't been much better in September 2008 than Willie Randolph was in September 2007.
All Gary Carter has done in the minor leagues is manage winners. Here's a brief recap:
Gulf Coast Mets, 2005
37-16 reg. season
St. Lucie Mets, 2006
1st Half: 40-30
2nd Half: 37-32
Post-season: 5-0 (2-0 1st round, 3-0 second), Champions
Orange County Flyers, 2008
1st Half: 28-15
2nd Half: 26-22
Post-season: 6-4 (3-2 1st round, 3-2 second), Champions
Regular Season: 168-115 (.594 winning percentage)
Post-season: 11-6, 2 championships in three years
Again, I know we're not comparing apples to apples with the three levels of minor league baseball, and I know that the minors and the majors are different...but the numbers convince me that Carter can have that kind of success at the big league level.
METS MINOR LEAGUES: Before last season, the Mets were among a number of teams to shuffle their Triple-A affiliates. The Mets ended up with New Orleans, which meant their Triple-A players logged lots of travel time as members of the Pacific Coast League.
Well, in 2009 (and at least 2010), the Mets' Triple-A affiliate will now be the Buffalo Bisons, back in the International League. This will cut down not only on Mets' minor leaguers travel time overall, but travel time to and from the big league team in New York (also useful for rehabbing major leaguers).
WRIGHT WATCH: Just a quick update on David Wright's assault on the all-time doubles record (and Mets single-season record):
2008: 42 (2 behind Bernard Gilkey's team record with 5 games to play)
ALL-TIME LEADER: 792
You look at the season leaders in doubles and it kind of makes you scratch your head: Guys like Dustin Pedroia and Brian Roberts have more than 50 doubles, Lance Berkman and Nate McLouth have 46 to lead the National League - that's a lot of doubles. It seems like a guy like David Wright would have more than just low-40's every year. Especially since Shea isn't exactly a home run hitter's ballpark. Just a thought. Also interesting to think about how Citi Field will play...will some of the David Wright doubles become homers? Will his assault on Tris Speaker take a hit because of the new stadium?
And let's not overlook here the statistical season Wright is having - there has been no late-season slide this year - in fact, he's having his best year all around in 2008.