America the Metsiful
For the Fourth of July, Jesse Spector has four maps of America to highlight some Mets history; Roger Cormier looks forward... sort of... to the season's second half
(Note: Friday is usually our day for free newsletters, but today we celebrate our Independence Day, so enjoy, and Happy 4th!)
Red, White, and Blue (and Orange)
By Jesse Spector
The Mets play in the World’s Borough, on the site of two World’s Fairs, and won on Saturday thanks to homers by Starling Marte (Dominican Republic) and Eduardo Escobar (Venezuela), with Edwin Díaz (Puerto Rico) nailing down the save.
There’s no discounting the importance of the rest of the globe to making the Mets what they are, but today is America’s birthday, and we’re going to look past the fact that the tally of home runs by American-born Mets in this post hasn’t changed in the past week since the idea was born to do these maps.
These maps? We’re celebrating the Fourth of July with four maps: with data from Stathead, and updated through Sunday’s win over the Rangers, these are maps of four statistics — home runs, hits, wins, and strikeouts — broken down by who’s gotten them for the Mets and where they were born.
How many of the dots on the maps can you identify? City leaderboards follow the maps, and in the offseason, we’ll work on making these interactive (and include the rest of the world, because then it won’t be July 4 anymore). Enjoy this graphical representation of Mets history, and happy Fourth!
Los Angeles — 557 (Darryl Strawberry, Lucas Duda, Dominic Smith, Hubie Brooks, Eddie Murray, Duke Snider, Eddie Bressoud, Claudell Washington, Dan Norman, Greg Goossen, Brett Butler, Darrin Jackson)
Norfolk, Va. — 252 (David Wright, Michael Cuddyer)
New York* — 238 (Ed Kranepool, Lee Mazzilli, Ken Singleton, Damion Easley, Joe Foy, Tony Tarasco, Duke Carmel, Norm Sherry, Stan Jefferson)
Norristown, Pa. — 220 (Mike Piazza)
Tampa — 211 (Pete Alonso, Carl Everett, Dave Magadan, Derek Bell, Gary Sheffield, Dwight Gooden)
Seattle — 196 (Michael Conforto, John Olerud, Mike Howard)
Clearwater, Fla. — 192 (Howard Johnson)
Pendleton, Ore. — 154 (Dave Kingman)
Atlanta — 131 (John Milner, Jeff Francoeur, Moises Alou, Tony Phillips)
St. Louis — 130 (Bernard Gilkey, Art Shamsky, Ron Hunt, Jerry Buchek, Rick Herrscher)
*As far as this list is concerned, “New York” is only for players with a birthplace listed as such. Bobby Bonilla (95 home runs) is listed as born in “Bronx, N.Y.,” combining with T.J. Rivera for 103 homers by Mets born in the borough. Los Angeles similarly loses Gary Carter’s 89 dingers (and Tim Foli’s one) to Culver City. This may be worth revisiting later, but you can obviously see all those dots layered on top of the large Los Angeles dot on the map.
Los Angeles — 3,483 (Darryl Strawberry, Hubie Brooks, Lucas Duda, Eddie Murray, Dominic Smith, Brett Buttler, Eddie Bressoud, Duke Snider, Claudell Washington, Dan Norman, Greg Goossen, Chris Donnels, Bob Ojeda, Darrin Jackson, Bob Apodaca, Dock Ellis, Jerry Cram, Dave Liddell)
New York — 2,649 (Ed Kranepool, Lee Mazzilli, Damion Easley, Ken Singleton, Joe Foy, Duke Carmel, Tony Tarasco, Norm Sherry, Larry Bearnarth, Stan Jefferson, John Candelaria)
Norfolk, Va. — 1,884 (David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, D.J. Dozier)
Tampa — 1,636 (Dave Magadan, Pete Alonso, Carl Everett, Derek Bell, Dwight Gooden, Gary Sheffield, Butch Benton)
San Francisco — 1,463 (Keith Hernandez, Don Hahn, Mike Vail, Jim Fregosi, Don Bosch, Dick Stuart, Danny Frisella, Gary Matthews Jr.)
Jacksonville — 1,333 (Daniel Murphy, Vince Coleman, Brian Schneider, Rusty Tillman, Rick Wilkins, Walker Lockett)
St. Louis — 1,320 (Ron Hunt, Bernard Gilkey, Art Shamsky, Jerry Bucheck, Rick Herrscher, Shawn Hare, Bob Miller, Yogi Berra)
San Antonio — 1,263 (Jerry Grote, Danny Heep, Bob Heise)
Seattle — 1,192 (Michael Conforto, John Olerud, Mike Howard, Glendon Rusch)
Plateau, Ala. — 1,188 (Cleon Jones)
Fresno, Calif. — 277 (Tom Seaver, Bobby Jones, Rick Baldwin, Jaime Cerda)
Honolulu — 197 (Sid Fernandez, Ron Darling)
Tampa — 158 (Dwight Gooden, John Hudek)
Appleton, Minn. — 140 (Jerry Koosman)
Brooklyn — 121 (John Franco, Ed Lynch, Pete Falcone, Nilson Figueroa, John Pacella)
Toms River, N.J. — 95 (Al Leiter)
Kansas City, Mo. — 89 (David Cone, Darren Oliver, Bill Wakefield, Shaun Marcum)
West Chester, Pa. — 82 (Jon Matlack)
DeLand, Fla. — 77 (Jacob deGrom)
Los Angeles — 70 (Bob Ojeda, Bob Apodaca, Dock Ellis)
Fresno, Calif. — 3,386 (Tom Seaver, Bobby Jones, Rick Baldwin, Jaime Cerda, Dennis Springer)
Honolulu — 2,597 (Sid Fernandez, Ron Darling)
Tampa — 1,903 (Dwight Gooden, John Hudek)*
Appleton, Minn. — 1,799 (Jerry Koosman)
DeLand, Fla. — 1,505 (Jacob deGrom)
Brooklyn — 1,416 (John Franco, Pete Falcone, Ed Lynch, Nelson Figueroa, John Pacella, Frank Seminara, Joe Sambito)
Kansas City, Mo. — 1,353 (David Cone, Bill Wakefield, Shaun Marcum, Darren Oliver)
Toms River, N.J. — 1,112 (Al Leiter, Thomas Szapucki)
West Chester, Pa. — 1,023 (Jon Matlack)
Shreveport, La. — 887 (Seth Lugo, Wally Whitehurst, Taijuan Walker, Josh Stinson)
*Derek Bell also appeared in a game as a Mets pitcher, but the Tampa-born outfielder did not record a strikeout.
What could possibl-y go wrong?
By Roger Cormier
The Mets are doing well and nobody is happy. New York survived the notoriously nightmarish month of June with an above .500 mark, the first time that’s happened in 10 years… while Atlanta had their best month, in any month, since 19141. The Mets are neck-and-neck with the Dodgers for the best record in the National League, but they used to be number one in the NL, and for a fairly long time at that. They've maintained a 3.5-game divisional lead into Independence Day entirely without Jacob deGrom and mostly without Max Scherzer; but the lead was 10.5 games. The Mets have a high payroll and the owner seems willing to go even higher… and the Yankees are 81-0 or something.
The "yeah but"s are endless. I didn't even bring up the fact that the Mets seemed to solve their runners in scoring position problem. That's good.
But lately they've been pretending it's 2021 again, abandoning each other and making themselves wonder what stepping on home plate is like. Like potassium benzoate, that's bad.
We'll be halfway through the Mets’ regular season after Tuesday's game against the Reds. I have been hurt too many times to keep positive. I want to get as many worst-case scenarios out of the way as possible. Write them down, print the list out, and burn it in a fire:
Jacob deGrom comes back but is… fine. Mortal-like. His exclusively throwing knuckleballs might have something to do with it.
Jacob deGrom comes back but announces he'll only do as much as a shortstop, his first love.
Max Scherzer decides he loves being a Rumble Pony after all, and never wants to leave Double-A.
Max Scherzer breaks his pitching hand after a chair in the clubhouse "looked at him funny."
Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom injure each other when a half-rat/half-raccoon runs across the clubhouse.
Francisco Álvarez can't handle major league pitching, both offensively and defensively. He is shipped to the Rays and immediately becomes a superstar.
Francisco Álvarez and Pete Alonso hurt themselves following their best-of-57 arm wrestling challenge.
J.D. Davis loses fans and makes his teammates uncomfortable after he casually reveals that J.D. actually stands for Jeffrey Dahmer.
Starling Marte becomes isolated and ruins the team chemistry after he realizes he's way too cool to hang out with any of his teammates.
The Mets blow a 9-run lead days after coming back from an 8-run deficit.
The Mets lose a game on a walk-off home run by Michael Conforto, who looks great by the way, absolutely thriving.
Chasen Shreve is never DFA'd.
Edwin Díaz leaves the Mets to join something called LIV Baseball.
Chris Bassitt challenges his rotation mates to grow a mustache. His comes in last and gray. His self-loathing is evident to all.
Francisco Lindor slips on a banana peel, skids down a sewer, but is saved by a friendly crocodile who returns him to dry land. An hour later, he gets a nasty papercut.
Eduardo Escobar gets banned from Fogo de Chao until he hits above .250. His lawsuit distracts him from ever achieving that threshold.
Jeff McNeil is ruled by the Supreme Court to be too obscene to participate in any public activity.
Brandon Nimmo starts wearing a "Let's Go Brandon!" shirt during warmups. When asked about it, he goes on a 10-minute soliloquy on the history of shirts.
Luis Guillorme hurts himself after failing to catch 12 baseball bats thrown at him simultaneously.
Nothing happens to Mark Canha. You got that?
Steve Cohen tweets that Buck Showalter has been fired because he is a low-talker and he can never understand him.
The Mets don't win their division. They make the playoffs anyway. They make it to the NLCS only to lose. Some fans say it was a fun ride. Other fans argue with those fans that they shouldn't feel good.
The Mets miss the playoffs entirely. Steve Cohen and everybody else tweet through it.