Baseball Crank
"It gets late early around here." - Yogi Berra
June 15, 2001
BASEBALL: The End of an Era

(Originally posted on the Boston Sports Guy website)


As this website closes its “doors,” it’s only fitting to contemplate the end of another era . . .

In 1996, at the tail end of a dismal season that followed five dismal seasons before that one, the Mets hired Bobby Valentine as manager. The team he inherited had some talented players in their primes – Todd Hundley was then 27, Jeff Kent 28, Bernard Gilkey 29, Mark Clark 28, Bobby Jones 26 – as well as a few promising youngsters – Edgardo Alfonzo was 22, Carl Everett 25, Butch Huskey 24. But it was not a good team, and didn’t look likely to become one; Hundley was the closest thing to a major star on the team, and Kent was dealt to Cleveland for Carlos Baerga, who claimed to be a year younger but turned out to be nearly finished. For Valentine’s part, his record didn’t inspire confidence – his tenure in Texas showed no signs of a superior grasp of the game’s big-picture strategies, and he’d had an unfortunate tendency to get locked into petty battles with players.

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