In 2018, Mets vice president of media relations Jay Horwitz announced he was leaving after 39 seasons. He did not retire but focused on devoting his energy to the area of alumni relations which had long been an organization weak spot.

Horwitz made it clear he took his new mission very seriously as Mets players from past years greeted fans and talked with the media about what they have been up to since leaving baseball.

The team announced last week that there will be a Mets Hall of Fame induction ceremony taking place on May 17, with former infielder Edgardo Alfonzo and pitchers Jon Matlack, Ron Darling and the late Al Jackson being honored. This will be the first such ceremony since catcher Mike Piazza was honored in 2013.

The induction of Jackson, who passed away last summer, has long been overdue and it’s a shame it didn’t take place when he was alive. Jackson was an original Met who lost 20 games in both 1962 and 1965. There’s an old counterintuitive saying in baseball that you have to be a really good pitcher to lose 20 games because it shows that your manager has faith in your abilities. Jackson also served as a longtime pitching coach in the organization.

Matlack pitched for the Mets from 1972 through 1978 and has kind of been overlooked when top pitchers in their history are being recalled even though he was a Rookie of the Year winner. Although he was a very effective pitcher, hitters frequently went AWOL when he was on the mound and thus he didn’t achieve the stellar win-loss record he deserved. Jacob deGrom can certainly relate. Matlack also pitched in a rotation with Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, and few hurlers can compare to either one.

Darling was a good though far from great pitcher for the Mets during his 1983-through-1991 tenure. The fact that he won 99 games and couldn’t get to 100 kind of sums things up. He would have been a true Mets hero had he pitched well in Games 7 of the 1986 World Series and 1988 National League Championship Series but he got bombed in both. Nonetheless, he has long been a beloved team announcer and merits this honor.

Infielder Edgardo Alfonzo was a terrific hitter and always seemed to come through in clutch situations during his Mets career which spanned from 1995 through 2002. He was strangely fired as the manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones after leading them to a NY-Penn League title last season. This might be the Mets form of an apology.

**WEB***

Curtis Granderson, one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, announced his retirement from the majors after 16 seasons on Friday. I spoke with him at Citi Field the final week of the 2019 season and he told me that he wanted to play in 2020 but that it would be up to the 30 general managers of Major League Baseball teams.

After batting .183 last season in a limited role with the Miami Marlins it was clear that no team would offer him a guaranteed contract. It’s probable a few teams did reach out and offer him a nonroster invite, in which he wouldn’t get paid unless he made the team out of spring training.

Grandy is a sharp guy who could see the handwriting on the wall. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in business administration and won’t have any trouble occupying his time. I can see him becoming a baseball executive in the very near future.

Considering he hasn’t played on a Super Bowl winner or at least been a Pro Bowl player for either the Jets or Giants, it was somewhat surprising that “Saturday Night Live” and NBC officials chose Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt to host last Saturday’s show.

Watt, though, was an excellent choice as he showed terrific comedic timing. He did a nice sendup of those ubiquitous Nugenix commercials and admitted in the opening monologue he’d have greatly preferred to be playing the next day’s Super Bowl than be hosting “SNL.” Watt should have little trouble following in the footsteps of former NFL stars who became actors, such as Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Fred Dryer, Bernie Casey and Joe Namath.

Another former NFL star who has dabbled in acting is Terry Bradshaw, now part of the Fox Sports NFL studio team. Cable’s E! network has signed Bradshaw and his family to star in a new reality series smartly titled “The Bradshaw Bunch.” It’s scheduled to debut this summer.

The tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and seven others on board that ill-fated helicopter cast a pall over the usually over-hyped Super Bowl week. There was little reporting on celebrities attending splashy parties in Miami nor was there the usual minutiae such as a quote from a player that gets blown out of proportion.

Life and style

A couple of media giants whose names were very familiar to baby boomers passed away last week.

Radio personality Harry Harrison woke up this town for 35 years on WMCA, WABC and WCBS-FM and was rightfully known as New York’s morning mayor. I used to love how his staccato baritone would blurt out “Coffee!” “Morning!” “Traffic!” “Weather with Mr. G!” with indefatigable cheerfulness. Harrison’s passing, along with the recent death of fellow morning man Don Imus, punctuates the fact that there are few memorable personalities left in radio today.

Back when television was a three-network world, Rego Park native Fred Silverman was the industry’s best-known executive as he was the chief programmer at one time or another for ABC, NBC and CBS. He even made the cover of Time magazine once in 1977.

He was responsible for putting Queens’ most famous fictional family of the 1970s, the Bunkers, on the air with “All in the Family” in 1971. Yes, he had his share of stinkers as well, such as “Pink Lady & Jeff,” “Hello, Larry” and “Supertrain,” an expensive flop that nearly sent NBC into insolvency.

Silverman, an alumnus of PS 139 and Forest Hills High School, succumbed to cancer at age 82 last Thursday in Los Angeles.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.