Mets welcome the Angels to Queens, and two '86 Mets will have their numbers retired
Let's appreciate the way Steve Cohen honors the team's history
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets were off on Thursday and will welcome the Angels to Citi Field for a three game weekend series beginning tonight
The Mets announced their intention to retire Darryl Strawberry’s number 18 and Dwight Gooden’s number 16 in 2024 (story)
Kodai Senga is on the bump tonight looking for his 11th win
Prospect Watch 🔎
C Kevin Parada (No. 5 Prospect, Single-A): 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI
OF Ryan Clifford (No. 6 Prospect, Single-A): 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI
IF/OF Jeremiah Jackson (No. 22 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-5, HR, RBI
IF Ronny Mauricio (No. 4 Prospect, Triple-A): 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (59-69) vs. Angels (61-67)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, NY
Starting pitchers: RHP Kodai Senga (10-6, 3.19 ERA) vs. TBD
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
Steve Cohen gets it…✍️
For a franchise that has been around for more than 60 years and enjoyed more than its fair of share of history, the Mets have generally been comically awful at honoring their past.
With the exception of Jackie Robinson’s number 42 that was retired by the entire sport in 1997, from the summer of ‘88-midway through the 2016 campaign the Mets had only taken three numbers out of circulation. They managed to honor Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, and Tom Seaver, but under the previous ownership regime the franchise seemed to turn its back on some of its past stars.
I think it’s safe to say that is no longer the case.
Since becoming the Mets principal owner in 2020, Steve Cohen has gone above and beyond to make sure Mets alumni feel welcomed by the organization, and has given several of the team’s stars of yester year their time in the sun. Since taking the reigns, Cohen has retired the numbers of Jerry Koosman, Keith Hernandez, and Willie Mays, and on Thursday it was announced that the club will retire the numbers of two 1986 World Series winners in Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry.
Sure, the situation’s a little strange and kind of backwards considering so many Mets have worn the two numbers since the duo left the club.
For example, 16 Mets have worn the number 16 since Gooden, including some names like Danny Muno, Alejandro De Aza, and Kevin Kaczmarski that casual fans might not even remember.
Since Strawberry left the Mets in 1990 the number 18 has been worn by 21 different players, most recently by outfielder Nick Plummer last year.
But hey, it’s never too late to right a wrong.
By retiring the numbers of players that left such a lasting impression on the team and formed a deep connection with the fan base, it sends a message to everyone associated with the team in any way. The fans get to celebrate one of their heroes forever, the team earns immense goodwill, and the current players get to watch an elaborate ceremony and watch a number get raised to the rafters and let themselves daydream.
David Wright’s number 5 will be retired next. And contrary to any nonsense you might have read this week, Pete Alonso should be given a long-term contract extension and one day have his number 20 placed next to the other Mets greats.
Same with Jacob deGrom.
Cohen’s work in remembering the past is not limited to retiring numbers, though. We all remember the Old Timers Day the club put together almost exactly a year ago, bringing so many former Mets back to Queens to enjoy an unexpected applause from a faithful that has not forgotten them for a second.
This season has obviously been a disappointment on the field with very little to get excited about. But I was really encouraged when I heard the news about Gooden and Strawberry, and despite the current situation with the team, I couldn’t help but appreciate Uncle Stevie even more than I did yesterday.
The way he operates is such a deviation from the Wilpons, and it’s just so damn refreshing.
Around the League 🚩
Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres all homered—but the Yankees still lost to the Nationals 6-5
The Red Sox pounded out 24 hits and lit up the Astros 17-1
Minnesota scored three in the 8th and took the lead on a Ryan Jeffers homer as they stunned the Rangers 7-5
The Dodgers swept a double header from the Guardians
The Cubs topped the Pirates 5-4 in 10 innings to keep themselves in Wild Card position