Posted by Mack Ade at 2:05 PM
Milledge was considered one of the three or four best prospects in the 2003 draft, but his stock took a hit after he was expelled from high school before his senior year for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. The Mets gambled on him with the 12th overall pick, but negotiations between the two sides were halted a few months later after more allegations arose. The team eventually signed him after being satisfied with the results of their own investigation. Milledge climbed the ladder and made his big league debut in 2006, though he drew the ire of some team veterans by showboating. He hit .257/.326/.414 in 391 plate appearances with the Mets before being traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider after the 2007 season
Joe or Bobby?
The Mets are unlikely to interview Joe Torre or Bobby Valentine for their open managerial position.
New GM Sandy Alderson is likely to go with a cheaper option. The only one to this point that we're sure will get an interview is Wally Backman, though The Bergen Record's Steve Popper thinks he's a longshot, saying Backman "will have to light up the room." Mets scout Bob Melvin and Mets third base coach Chip Hale are also likely to get an interview. Other possible interview candidates are former Rockies manager and current Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle, as well as former Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli, a former Mets player and Brooklyn native.
1880 World Series:
Unfortunately, this "World Series" is asterisked because I couldn't run it with the real two best teams. The team with the most WAR in the 1880's were the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association in 1884, racking up 51.4 WAR. The Maroons finished a staggering 94-14 for a win percentage of .832! The pulled away from the rest of the pack, winning the league by 21 games over the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds. That is absurd domination in the league. It's my guess that due to the lower talent level of all the other clubs (which finished anywhere from 21 to 61 games back of the Maroons), their WAR totals become skewed. That's not a big deal, anyways, because What If Sports only has the 1885 and 1886 Maroons clubs as choices for the simulations -- those were not good teams going 36-72 and 43-79 in '85 and '86.
1960 World Series:
Whitey Ford had a different set of concerns as he prepared to make his first start of the Series in Game Three. When questioned by reporters, Ford listed Roberto Clemente and Dick Groat as the two most formidable Pirate hitters because of their ability and willingness to take pitches to the opposite field. Since Ford liked to work the outside corner against most right-handed hitters, he might have to change up his strategy against Clemente and Groat.
Ford’s belated appearance in the Series once again raised questions about Casey Stengel’s controversial selection of starting pitchers. Even some of the most ardent supporters of the “Ole Professor” had questioned the manager’s decision to use Art Ditmar and Bob Turley in the first two games. Yes, Ditmar had been the Yankee’s most effective pitcher during the regular season, but Ford had proven himself above and beyond all other pitchers in the pressurized circumstances of the World Series. While Ditmar had pitched well in prior post-season outings, his World Series experience was rather limited; Ford had pitched in six Fall Classics, winning five games and compiling an ERA of 2.81
On October 27, 1922 Ralph Kiner was born. As with many Hall of Famers from before his time, Richard knows only the basics of Kiner’s career. This week he looks back to learn more.
If you thought—and you did, didn’t you?—that I had abandoned my “Better Know a Hall of Famer” series, you were, of course, incorrect; I just forgot about it. But it is back now, and this week we look at the life and times of Ralph Kiner. Kiner is a rare figure in baseball: a Hall of Famer despite playing in fewer than 1500 games and a man who broadcast games for nearly half a century. Perhaps most impressively of all, at age 87 Kiner is still broadcasting.
Kiner was born in New Mexico in 1922, making him younger than his native state, but not by much. Kiner actually grew up in California, and by 1941 he had made it into the minor leagues, and the following season he hit 14 home runs for the Albany Senators of the Eastern League. (That doesn’t sound like much, but the Eastern League was hell on hitters. Kiner led the league with his 14 homers, and was one of only three men to reach double digits. The league’s leading hitter only batted .322.)