Tag Archives: Jeff Wilpon

Mike Piazza inducted into Mets Hall of Fame


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of The New York Mets

It was a Piazza palooza at Citi Field.

The New York Mets inducted legendary catcher Mike Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday before the team played its final game of the year.

Piazza received a proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which declared September 29 as Mike Piazza Day.

“I’m very, very proud to be a New York Met,” Piazza said. “I’m glad they took recognition and gave me this honor.”

Citi Field was packed for Piazza’s induction as many cheered for one of the franchise’s most prominent figures.

Piazza threw out the first pitch of the game to Mets captain David Wright and Piazza’s former teammates Edgardo Alfonzo and John Franco presented him with a plaque and shared some kind words.

“You were a tremendous teammate,” Franco said. “You played hurt, you played hard and you are a great guy to be around. So I just want to say congratulations from one Italian brother to another.”

Piazza is known as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He has the most home runs for a catcher ever with 427, a career .308 batting average and 2,127 hits.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBIs (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star when he played with the Mets and set a team-record with 124 RBIs and hit 40 home runs in 1999.

Then in 2000 he finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs to lead the team to win the National League Division Championship.

Fortunately the Mets won the final game of the year 3-2 against the Brewers to top off the Hall of Fame celebration, despite another year with a losing record, 74-88.

Piazza is looking forward to a time when the Mets are once again on top of the league standings. He also joked that the organization will have first crack at his son, but he won’t be cheap.

“I’ll teach him how to hit and the rest is up to him,” Piazza said.

 

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Former Met Mike Piazza, other nominees not voted into Baseball Hall of Fame; first time no inductees since 1996


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

No one’s going on the wall this year.

The candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to get the needed 75-percent of votes today to make it into Cooperstown. This was the first time since 1996 that no one was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

One of those ball players was Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who, according to MLB.com, received 57.8 percent of the vote on his first ballot appearance.

Several sluggers accused of using performance enhancing drugs also appeared on the ballot: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire.

After the announcement that seems to be stunning the baseball world, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon commented that, “we are optimistic one day soon Mike‘s plaque, with a Mets cap, will be hanging in Cooperstown where it truly belongs.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com


 

Intrepid-Bound Space Shuttle Enterprise Sails Through New York Harbor

The Space Shuttle Enterprise set off on a barge Sunday morning from John F. Kennedy Airport to sail to New Jersey. The shuttle prototype was lifted from a JFK hanger onto a barge on Saturday, and the barge set off from the airport just before 8 a.m. Sunday. Read more: [NY1]

 

2 Mets fanatics charged for running on field to celebrate Johan Santana’s no-hitter

A pair of super-zealous Mets fans who barged onto Citi Field on Friday night after hurler Johan Santana’s no-hitter were charged with criminal trespass on Sunday but released without bail. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 Man Wanted For Attempted Kidnapping By Queens School 

Police were searching Sunday for a man who allegedly tried to kidnap a young boy last week in North Corona, Queens. Authorities say Mark Synclair, 33, tried to grab the seven-year-old child outside P.S. 92 on Tuesday morning. Read more: [NY1]

 

Queens Library looks for new ways to battle budget cuts 

An army of strollers lined up outside the Broadway branch of the Queens Library to enlist the latest foot soldiers in the annual budget battle — toddlers and their caregivers. The borough library system is facing $26.7 million in proposed cuts under the Bloomberg Administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget. And library advocates are searching for new ways to get their message across. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Tourist, cabby die in 3-car LIE horror

A Utah woman and a Queens cabdriver were killed and the woman’s grandson was seriously injured early yesterday in a three-car smashup on the Long Island Expressway. Suzanne Nicholson, 60, and her grandson Gabe Larsen, 11, were headed from Kennedy Airport to a Manhattan hotel at about 12:30 a.m. when their cabby, Mohamed Hussain, rear-ended a 1995 Porsche near 66th Street in Queens, cops said. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Maher purchases stake in Amazin’s

He’s not joking — comedian and lifelong Mets fan Bill Maher now owns a piece of the team. HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” host made a surprise announcement that he’s a minority owner before last night’s win against the Cardinals, after a VIP tour with Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon. Read more: [New York Post] 

Mets change Citi Field dimensions


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the New York Mets

The New York Mets are hoping that the principle of addition by subtraction will work wonders for the team’s win column.

The organization announced on October 31 that they are shrinking the dimensions of the field of play in Citi Field for the upcoming season. Portions of the outfield wall will be decreased by as much as 12 feet, and the height of the home run line will be dropped to eight feet from foul pole to foul pole.

Since Citi Field opened in 2009, the Mets have hit 331 home runs, leaving them in last place in Major League Baseball (MLB) in that category. During the same three-season stretch, they also rank last in home runs hit at home, with 162.

The team is last in home runs per fly ball percentage since 2009 as well, with 6.6 percent of fly balls leaving Citi and seven percent soaring over the fences on the road.

“We wanted to make Citi Field fair to both pitchers and hitters,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.

A new wall will be constructed in left field, beginning between the New Era and Caesars signs and angled towards the Citi sign in left-center field. The wall will be roughly four feet closer to home plate in left field and approximately 12 feet closer in deep left-center field.

A wall will also be erected in right-center field. It will extend towards the bullpen and be as much as 11 feet closer to home plate.

The fence in front of the Mo’s Zone and Modell’s Clubhouse will move forward by approximately 10 feet as well.

The measurements from home plate to center field and to both the left and right field foul poles will remain unaltered.

Along with the dimensional alterations, the aesthetics of the ballpark will also be updated.

The outfield wall will become blue for the 2012 season, in honor of the Mets’ 50th Anniversary.

A unique seating section will be installed in left field between the newly designed and existing walls, providing seats to 100 more fans.

The Modell’s Clubhouse, located in right field, will also be expanded to include an outdoor area consisting of roughly 40 additional seats.

“After conferring with Sandy and all members of his staff, ownership concurred with the recommendation to change the dimensions at Citi Field,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “We decided to change the outfield wall from black to Mets blue, which many of our fans have wanted.”