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)

THE END OF AN ERA

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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