Karpin Paints A Perfect Mets Season

Howie Karpin is a fixture at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. The Bronx native and Riverdale resident is an official scorer for Major League Baseball, and for the past 30 years has covered the World Series and Stanley Cup Finals as well as being an accomplished radio sports reporter.

His passion is baseball, reporting games for radio stations in the tri state area, and now scoring a good amount of Yankees and Mets games as the guy who determines a hit from an error on the field up in the press box where we sit. A fan of the New York Mets contemplate when good fortune will return for their franchise because the team is off to their third worse start since their inception in 1962.

So here is Karpin, during the past year, in between scoring games, doing his research. And plenty of going back in time to select the greatest wins in Mets history and for those who joke about the Mets, they would say, “How many great games have the Mets played?

There could be more than the 162 games that Karpin chronicled in his latest work, “Imagine a Mets Perfect Season – 162-0” published by Triumph Books. Yes, 162 games, the schedule for a team in regular season play. But the Mets going 162-0, especially for a Mets fan is far from reality.

“The nature of the game-the grind of a 162-game season does not lend itself to team perfection as it does in the National Football League or college football,” says Karpin. “There have been undefeated teams in both pro and college football, but not in baseball. Nor is it likely to ever happen. But within the boundaries of this book, it does happen to the Mets.”

Meaning, as Karpin, says, “In nearly 50 years of existence, the New York Mets have provided many memorable regular season moments.” Of course, always remembered was the run to a World Series championship in 1969 and how the Mets became the team in New York City.

The memorable moments, that is a theme about the 162 games that are highlighted by Karpin. Because as every Mets fans knows, there have been more than a share of unmemorable moments, a huge amount at their old ballpark, Shea Stadium, in Flushing Queens.

You don’t have to be a fan of the New York Mets to share in the memories that Karpin recaps. There is the emotional game of the first sporting event in the city since the September 11, 2011 disaster. Titled “Emotions Run Deep in Tribute to Post 9/11 America,” the game at Shea Stadium against the Atlanta Braves, a game where rivalries meant nothing and a start of the healing process in New York.

There is no particular order of significant games with the 162 that Karpin recaps so well. “The history of the Mets was thoroughly researched to put together a mythical, undefeated season,” says current New York Mets third baseman David Wright who provided a perfect foreword to the book.

“In this book, time is no problem,” says Wright. So well put because you can don’t have to go from page-to-page, and the summations of each game are captured with the highlights Mets and baseball fans always remember.

Because the Mets, as much as they have become the secondary baseball team in New York, have a brief and interesting history, though not as long, as the Yankees on the other side of town. The managers and players that have worn the uniform have been interesting personalities from Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver to the Hall of Fame New York outfielder, the great Willie Mays.

“From the very first season of 1962 to the miraculous championship year of 1969, to a second world title in 1986, right up until a new era at Citi Field, the Mets have put together a glorious history in their own right,” says Karpin.

Each game selected is chronicled by month, again in no particular order. The box score of some games and photos of the players that are a part of this 162-0 season provide smiles for Mets fans that have not much to be happy about as of late. And there are of course, some of the less memorable moments.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Bill Shannon, the longtime official scorer of New York baseball and writer who tragically passed away last October. A longtime friend of Karpin who gave him his opportunity to score games in the press box, Shannon was an inspiration in putting this must read together.

Because as everyone knows, in New York the Yankees have been the memorable team, but after going through the pages of these 162 games, it certainly appears the past 49 years have been memorable for the New York Mets.

E-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Bronx Native, Game Season, Going Back In Time, Good Fortune, Great Games, Major League Baseball, Mets Games, National Football League, Nature Of The Game, New York Mets, Official Scorer, Perfect Season, Radio Sports, Rich Mancuso, Stanley Cup Finals, Top Story, Tri State Area, Triumph Books, Undefeated Teams, Yankee Stadium

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on April 18, 2011

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Despite Win, Everyone is Talking Minaya and Manuel

NEW YORK-  There were multiple reports coming from Citi Field Friday evening that team general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will be replaced when the season concludes Sunday afternoon. The moves have been rumored for the past month.

With the Mets once again finishing their second season at Citi Field below the .500 mark, there is every reason to believe there will be a new regime running the show next April.  Prior to the start of a three game season finale series with the Washington Nationals, won by the Mets 2-1 in 10 innings, Manuel was asked about reports he would not be returning next season,

“I have not discussed anything,” said the Mets manager regarding his situation. The talk about Manuel not returning for a third year has been a constant topic of discussion since the all-star break. “Nothing has been told to me,” he said,

He added “Just like every year you discuss it, you discuss it at the end of the year. I haven’t been told anything.”  Though Manuel may have not been told anything about his status there is every reason to believe his regime with Minaya will conclude Sunday,

Minaya, general manager since 2004 has seen minimal results during his tenure. The Mets once again this year, with high expectations and third highest payroll in baseball, failed to make the postseason again since their 2006 loss in the National League Championship Series to the St Louis Cardinals.

On the field the Mets tried to play for something as they finish out the string. Against the last place Nats, starter Pat Misch went eight innings, gave up three hits and struck out 10.  Michael Morse hit a solo home run to center in the seventh, the lone run surrendered by Misch that tied the game at 1-1.

“I know I can pitch,” commented Misch (0-4) who did not figure in the decision, “Obviously the record doesn’t show it and maybe the numbers aren’t the greatest.” Manuel, speaking like he will be in control next season said, “He can possibly give the organization some depth next year.”

The game stayed at 1-1 until the bottom of the tenth when catcher Josh Thole hit a 3-1 pitch to the right field stands that gave New York a 2-1 win. It was the third home run for Thole as the Mets got another walk-off win. It was their fourth hit of the game off Nationals Tyler Clippard (11-7) tagged with a loss out of the pen.

“I didn’t know what to do when I got to home plate,” said Thole. As was the case with rookie Ruben Tejada, who got a walk-off wining double against the Brewers Tuesday night, Thole was mobbed by teammates when he reached home.

It was his first ever game winning home run. Thole is projected to be the Mets starting catcher next season. “Just wanted to get out of here with a win and get out of here on a positive point,” he said about the win and final games of the season.

They are playing out the string, the Mets are. Manuel is still in control as is Minaya, at least until Sunday. The final two games won’t make a difference as the Mets even with a sweep over the Nationals will have their second consecutive losing season finishing under .500.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under All Star, Baseball, Friday Evening, Game Season, High Expectations, League Championship Series, Mets, Michael Morse, Minimal Results, National League Championship Series, New York Mets, Omar Minaya, Pat Misch, Payroll, Regime, Season Finale, Second Season, St Louis Cardinals, Sunday Afternoon, Tenure, Top Story, Washington Nationals

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on October 2, 2010