Showing posts with label David Wright. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Wright. Show all posts

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mets legend Ed Kranepool disappointed with David Wright's reserve selection

Ed Kranepool holds many distinctions in 50-year association with the New York Mets. At 17, he was the youngest member of the inaugural 1962 team, and when he finished his career in 1979, he left as their all-time leader in hits, at-bats and games played. Tuesday afternoon, Kranepool spread some good will as part of the Mets Citi Tuesdays program at Citbank in Huntington Station.

Ed Kranepool signs an autograph at Citibank in Huntington Square
“I’ve been representing the Mets for 50 years," Kranepool said. "I signed in 1962, so it’s been a long association and most of it has been good. Representing here with Citibank has been great. They support the alumni program [and] they create the programs we participate in. I enjoy meeting all of the bankers and their customers and it’s a great support level that Citibank has offered the Mets and got behind them with sponsorship; they’re doing a lot of good things for the community.”

With David Wright on the heels of Kranepool’s all-time franchise hits record, the third baseman’s snub by the fans for the starting nod for the All-Star Game did not sit well with Kranepool.

“First of all, you want to get the fans involved, but I think they have too much of a say right now. I think it is a disgrace that David Wright is not the starting third baseman for the National League,” he said. “He’s hitting .360, driving in runs, [and] playing every day. He’s made a tremendous comeback. The other gentleman is having a good season, but not a David Wright season. All you have to do is check the record, check the book. There is no reason [that he shouldn’t be starting].”

Kranepool suggested that the current voting system should undergo a facelift.

“He loses by so many votes, c’mon," he said. "I think the fans should be involved, it’s their game, but I don’t think their vote should carry [the whole thing]. They should have a portion of it. Let the coaches and managers vote and the sportswriters vote. Two out of three wins and you mark it up.”

The discussion of Wright’s oversight by the fans roused up memories of Kranepool’s selection to the 1965 All-Star Game. Only 20 years old, Kranepool found himself surrounded by the likes of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax on the National League squad.

“That was a tremendous feat for myself, I was only 20 when I made the All-Star team,” Kranepool recalled.

As excited that Kranepool was to be representing the Mets in Minnesota, he would have enjoyed it more if Philadelphia Phillies manager Gene Mauch would have called Kranepool’s number off of the bench.

“I didn’t play in the game," he said. "I was disappointed … It’s kind of frustrating because I never made it again. You want to play. … What’s the sense of sending a guy to the All-Star Game, if he’s not going to play? Not that you want the three days off, you’d rather be in the All-Star Game, but if you’re going there, I want to say I played in the game. Let the country see you play the game.”

While he acknowledged that the All-Star team managers have been more aware of getting everyone involved in the mid-summer classic; however, he still thinks the game can stand a few minor adjustments.

“They do a better job of managing the players today in the game; they get everybody in, but I think they should have free substitution with a couple of players," he said. "They ought to mark before the game, two-to-three guys who play a lot of positions and keep them around. If you put them in the game, you’re allowed to remove them, [to] get everybody in the game. … They should change certain rules. Baseball in certain ways is trying to make changes and other ways, they’re antiquated in their positioning.”

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Where does Gary Sheffield fit in the Mets plans?

The New York Mets announced on Friday that they have signed outfielder Gary Sheffield to a one-year $400,000 contract, with the Detroit Tigers having to pay the remaining $14 million due to giving him his release last week. One homer shy of five hundred for his career, Sheffield looks to make history in a Mets uniform early this season. A few questions surround Sheffield's signing to the Mets. Will he be healthy enough to play the outfield consistently? Will he be a positive or negative influence in the clubhouse? Which outfielder will be affected the most by Sheffield's signing?

Currently, the Mets are carrying outfielder Nick Evans until Livan Hernandez makes his debut on April 11th. The Mets could send Evans down to the Minors to make room for Sheffield for opening day, however, that will lead to another roster move when Hernandez is activated for his scheduled start. Possible casualties when Hernandez returns include utility player Marlon Anderson and outfielder Ryan Church. Anderson provides a valuable left-handed bat off of the bench, and the ability to play both the infield and outfield. Church was envisioned to be platooned with Fernando Tatis in right field, but there are doubts that Church can hit left-handed pitching and whispers that he is not fully recovered from the multiple concussions he had last year. Tatis was expected to provide a right-handed power bat for the corner outfield positions, but that role will be greatly impacted with Sheffield's arrival.

Sheffield batted .225 in 114 games for Detroit in 2008, and .178 in Spring Training before his release. During the 2008 season, he only played 6 games in the outfield. How long will it take for Sheffield to get in shape to play the outfield regularly? With Sheffield expected to play alongside Daniel Murphy, that gives the Mets two below average defenders in the starting corner outfield positions.

Sheffield comes with a reputation for being outspoken and at times a polarizing figure in the clubhouse, suggesting that Joe Torre treated black and white players differently on the Yankees. A few Mets that were interviewed though, have positive remarks about Sheffield's presence.

"He's a great guy," said Hernandez, who played with Sheffield on the Marlins. "He's a great person. He plays hard every day. That's what I know."

"I've heard great things," third baseman David Wright said. "All the players that have played with him speak very highly of him. I'm sure we're going to welcome him. He's going to be a tremendous addition. He's a guy that just has a presence to him."