When Tom Glavine came to the Mets as a free agent from the Atlanta Braves prior to the 2003 season, it appeared that his quest to become the 23rd pitcher in baseball history to win 300 games in a career would be a foregone conclusion.
It turned out be anything but, as both he and the Mets struggled mightily in his first two years with the team.
In 2005, when the team’s overall fortunes improved, Glavine’s win total still creeped along at a snail’s pace, as the team’s offense failed to support his efforts on a consistent basis.
To his immense credit, Glavine never publicly second-guessed his decision to leave the perennially playoff-bound Braves, where the march to 300 would have probably been completed well over a year ago.
During that time, Glavine never lost his patience or sense of humor. In fact, win or lose, he has made himself available to reporters who ask the same questions about his quest for 300 wins and has answered them with the same insight as if it had been the first time he had heard those queries.
Though he’s already a lock for the Hall of Fame, the writers who cover him would have voted him in regardless of his reaching the 300-win milestone.
Last Thursday, Mets catching great and hall of famer, Gary Carter made a stop at Shea on his way to Cooperstown to honor new inductees Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. Carter managed the Mets’ Port St. Lucie team to the Florida State League title last year and was offered the Binghamton Mets skipper position this year, but turned it down to work for a MasterCard/Major League Baseball promotion.
“I was hoping to land the coaching spot that Howard Johnson has with the Mets,” Carter said, who also was considered for a coaching job with the Colorado Rockies. “In addition, when the Mets signed Willie (Randolph) to a three-year contract I figured that it would limit my future with the organization.”
More than likely, Carter will be a big league manager in the near future. He has the requisite baseball smarts, but also has a firm grasp on the additional talents required of a field skipper.
“These days the public relations aspects of this business are more important than in-game decisions,” Carter said. “You have to be willing to meet with team sponsors and pose for photos with fans and sign autographs for them as well as enjoy the daily Q and A with the media, particularly in this town.”
If you have not been to a Brooklyn Cyclones game at Coney Island’s KeySpan Park, the Mets’ NY-Penn League affiliate plays a rare matinee this Monday at noon against the Aberdeen Ironbirds who are owned by that newest Hall of Fame member, Cal Ripken Jr.
Speaking of Coney Island, while they may have the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, Queens has the annual dumpling eating competition that will take place this Sunday at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Park as part of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Race festivities.