Shawn Estes – His New York Mets Career 2002

Shawn EstesThe Mets acquired left-handed pitcher Shawn Estes from the San Francisco Giants on December 16, 2001 in exchange for Desi Relaford and Tsuyoshi Shinjo.  He made his Met debut in the third game of the 2002 season on April 4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He pitched 7 innings and allowed 3 runs but suffered the loss as the Mets lost 3-2.   On April 26 he earned his first win as a Met by pitching a complete game one hit shutout against the Milwaukee Brewers; the Mets won the game 1-0.  Though the game was his best pitched game of the season it was not his most memorable one, that would occur on June 15 against the Mets crosstown rivals the New York Yankees.

The game on June 15th would be the first time since the 2000 season that Roger Clemens would step into the batter’s box against the Mets.   In 2000 Clemens became public enemy #1 to Mets fans when he first hit Met star Mike Piazza in the head with a pitch that gave Piazza concussion.  Than in the 2000 World Series Clemens threw a pitch that broke Piazza’s bat as he fouled off the pitch.  The barrel of the bat landed in front of Clemens who then proceeded to throw the bat at Piazza as he ran toward first.  Needless to say, Met fans wanted blood and they were expecting Estes to throw at Clemens.  When Clemens stepped into the batter’s box in the 3rd inning Estes did throw at him, but the pitch missed him.  Met fans were not happy even when he struck Clemens out.  However, Estes did redeem himself two innings later when he hit a two-run home run off Clemens.   Estes pitched 7 shutout innings and struck out 11 as the Mets won 8-0.

The Mets traded Estes to the Cincinnati Reds on August 15th in exchange for Raul Gonzalez, Pedro Feliciano, Brady Clark and Elvin Andujar.  At the time of the trade Estes was 4-9 with a 4.55 ERA.

While with the Mets Estes wore number 55.

Shawn Estes also played for the following teams:
San Francisco Giants – 1995-2001
Cincinnati Reds – 2002
Chicago Cubs – 2003
Colorado Rockies = 2004
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2005
San Diego Padres – 2006,2008

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Jeff D’Amico – His New York Mets Career 2002

Jeff DamicoThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Jeff D’Amico along with Jeromy Burnitz, Lou Collier and Mark Sweeney from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Lenny Harris, Alex Ochoa and Glendon Rusch on January 21, 2002.  He made his Met debut on April 6 against the Atlanta Braves.  He pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs but earned a no-decision as the Mets won 11-2 (they scored 9 runs in the top of the 9th inning).  He earned his first win as a Met in his next start when he pitched 8 shutout innings in the Mets 2-1 victory over the Montreal Expos.    He would appear in 29 games for the Mets, 22 as a starter, and finished with a 6-10 record with a 4.94 ERA.

His best outing of the season occurred on May 15 when he pitched a 2-hit shutout against the Los Angeles Dodger while also striking out 8 batters.

2002 would be D’Amico’s only season with the Mets.  He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent.

While with the Mets D’Amico wore number 18.

Jeff D’Amico also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1996,1997,1999-2001
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2003
Cleveland Indians – 2004

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Jae Seo – His New York Mets Career 2002-2005

Jae SeoThe New York Mets signed Jae Seo, a native of South Korea, as an amateur free agent on December 17, 1997. But reconstructive arm surgery derailed his career and he did not make his Major League debut until July 21, 2002, a one-inning relief appearance in a blowout loss to the Cincinnati Reds, by appearing in the game Seo became the first Korean born player in franchise history. It would be his only appearance in a Mets uniform for the season as he was immediately demoted back to the minors where he finished out the season.

In 2003, Seo broke into the Mets starting rotation and record his first major league win on April 17 by pitching seven shutout innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He would go onto pitch in 32 games, all but one as a starter, He finished the season with a 9-12 record and a 3.82 ERA.   He returned in 2004, appearing in 24 games, posting a 5-10 record and a 4.90 ERA.

After starting the 2005 season in the minor leagues, Seo returned to the majors and pitched effectively despite missing some time on the disabled list, posting an 8-2 record and 2.59 ERA in 14 games. But despite his success the Mets traded Seo to the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever Duaner Sanchez before the 2006 season. The deal surprised many at first, but it turned out the Mets traded him at just the right time. Seo struggled over the next two seasons with the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Devil Rays and eventually returned to his native South Korea to pitch for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball League.

In three plus seasons with the Mets Jae Seo posted a 22-24 record with a 3.85 ERA.

While with the Mets Seo wore number 38 in 2002 number 40 in 2003 and number 26 from 2004-2005/

Jae Seo also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2006
Tampa Bay Devil Rays = 2006,2007

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Bruce Chen – His New York Mets Career 2001,2002

Bruce ChenThe Mets acquired left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 27, 2001 along with Adam Walker in exchange for Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook. He made his Mets debut on August 1; he allowed 2 runs and 2 hits over 6 innings but earned a no decision in the Mets 8-2 win over the Houston Astros. Chen started a total of 11 games for the Mets over the remainder of the season and posted a 3-2 record with a 4.68 ERA.

Chen returned in 2002 but appeared in just one game, throwing 2/3 innings of relief against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 4 before the Mets traded him to the Montreal Expos on April 5. He was traded along with Dicky Gonzalez and Luis Figueroa in exchange for Scott Strickland, Matt Watson and Phillip Seibel.

While with the Mets Chen wore number 32.

Bruce Chen also played for the following teams:
Atlanta Braves – 1998-2000
Philadelphia Phillies – 2000,2001
Montreal Expos – 2002
Cincinnati Reds – 2002
Boston Red Sox – 2003
Houston Astros – 2003
Baltimore Orioles – 2004-2006
Texas Rangers – 2007
Kanas City Royals – 2009-2014
Cleveland Indians – 2015

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David Weathers – His New York Mets Career 2002-2004

David WeathersDavid Weathers was a ten-year journeyman reliever when the Mets signed him as a free agent prior to the 2002 season. Serving mainly as setup man for the Mets in 2002 Weathers appeared in 71 games, the most on the team and posted a 6-3 record with very respectable 2.91 ERA. He once again led the Mets in appearances in 2003, this time with 77 but was not as effective. He won only one game while losing six but did manage to save seven games. After starting the 2004 season with a 5-3 record but with 4.28 ERA he was traded to the Houston Astros in the middle of June along with Jeremy Griffiths in exchange for Richard Hidalgo.

In 180 games for the Mets over three seasons David Weathers posted a 12-12 record with 7 saves and a 3.22 ERA.

While with the Mets Weathers wore number 35.

David Weathers also played for the following teams:
Toronto Blue Jays = 1991,1992
Florida Marlins – 1993-1995, 2004
New York Yankees – 1996,1997
Cincinnati Reds – 1997, 1998, 2005-2009
Milwaukee Brewers = 1998-2001, 2009
Chicago Cubs = 2001
Houston Astros – 2004

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Al Leiter – His New York Mets Career 1998-2004

 

Al Leiter
Al Leiter

After winning the 1997 World Series the Florida Marlins conducted a fire sale and traded off all their high-priced stars. One of the beneficiaries of sale was the New York Mets who acquired left-handed pitcher Al Leiter. For the next seven seasons Al Leiter was a workhorse who served as the ace of the Mets pitching staff.

 

In his first season with the Mets in 1998 Leiter posted a 17-6 record with a 2.47 ERA, the third best in the National League. He also led the Mets with 174 strikeouts.

During the 1999 season he won just 13 games but won the most important game of the season. In a one game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds to determine the National League Wild Card Leiter pitched a complete game two hit shutout to send the Mets to the postseason for the first time since 1988.

In 2000 Leiter started the season 10-1 and was named to the National League All-Star team. Along the way he was also named the National League pitcher of the month for June. He finished the season with a 16-8 record and once again led the team with 200 strikeouts as the Mets returned to the postseason. The Mets made it all the way to the World Series where they faced the New York Yankees. Leiter started games 1 and 5 and pitched effectively but the Mets lost both games and the series. In 15 2/3 innings he struck out 16 and posted a 2.87 ERA. In game five, with the Mets one loss away from losing the series, Leiter gave it everything he had and left it all on the field. He pitched into the 9th inning yielding just two runs, but finally ran out of gas and lost the game.

After back to back .500 seasons Leiter posted a 15-9 record in 2003 and then won another 10 games in 2004.

2004 would be his last season with the Mets. The Mets sensing that he was nearing the end of line allowed him to leave as a free agent. The Mets were proven right as Leiter struggled in 2005 pitching for the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees.

In his seven seasons with the Mets Leiter posted a 95-67 record with a 3.42 ERA and 1,106 strikeouts. He currently ranks 6th in franchise history with his 95 victories.

While with the Mets Leiter wore number 22.

Al Leiter also played for the following team:
New York Yankees – 1987-1989, 2005
Toronto Blue Jays – 1989-1995
Florida Marlins – 1996,1997,2005

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Pete Walker – His New York Mets Career 1995,2001,2002

Pete WalkerAfter spending 5 seasons in the Mets minor league system right-handed pitcher Pete Walker made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 7, 1995 against the San Francisco Giants.  Walker pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief and allowed 1 earned run 2 hits as the Mets lost 9-8.  He would go on to pitch in 13 games for New York, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-0 record with 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings.  His won win came on the last day of the season when he pitched a scoreless 11th inning in the Mets 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. 

Following the season Walker was traded to the San Diego Padres. He returned to the Mets as a free agent on December 28, 2000.  He spent the 2001 season in the minors before getting called up to New York in September.  He appeared 2 games and posted a 2.70 ERA in 6 2/3 innings.  Walker appeared in 1 game for the Mets in 2002 before being picked up off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.  In his one appearance, he allowed 1 run in 1 inning of relief in the Mets 7-5 loss to the Montreal Expos on April 20.

In 16 total appearances for the Mets in part of 3 seasons Walker posted a 1-0 record with a 4.26 ERA.

While with the Mets Walker wore number 49 in 1995 and number 43 in 2001 and 2002.

Pete Walker also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 1996
Colorado Rockies – 2000
Toronto Blue Jays – 2002,2003,2005,2006

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Mo Vaughn – His New York Mets Career 2002,2003

Mo VaughnAs a member of the Anaheim Angels Mo Vaughn missed the entire 2001 season with an injury and many thought that he was washed up and could no longer be a useful Major League ballplayer.  But Mets General Manager Steve Phillips along with Manager Bobby Valentine liked what they saw when they witnessed Vaughn take batting practice during the off-season.   Based on that the Mets thought Vaughn was ready to return to the form that won him an MVP with the Boston Red Sox in 1995 and traded Kevin Appier to the Angels to acquire his services.  But it didn’t work out that way as Vaughn never returned to his old form. Instead he became the poster child for Met futility in the early 2000’s. 

In his second game as a Met in 2002 he hit his first home run of the season; it was also the 300th of his career.  By the end of the month he was hitting .311 but with very little power.  As the season wore on he struggled at the plate and would end up leading the Mets in strikeouts with 145. He did manage to finish the season with 26 home runs, many of the moon-shot variety, but only drove in 72 runs for the season.  A far cry from the 100 or so RBIs he used to accumulate while with the Angels and Red Sox.  His lack of range as the team’s first baseman also didn’t help matters as the fans and the press began to regularly get on his case.  The only time the fans really embraced him was when he hit a game winning three run home run against the hated Yankees on June 16th.

Mo Vaughn entered the 2003 season looking for a fresh start but a knee injury at the beginning of May not only sidelined him for the season it also ended his career.  At the time, he was hitting just .190 with 3 home runs and 15 RBIs.

In 166 games for the Mets Vaughn hit .249 with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs.

While with the Mets Vaughn wore number 42.

Mo Vaughn also played for the Boston Red Sox from 1991-1998 and the Anaheim Angles in 1999 and 2000.

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Mark Corey – His New York Mets Career 2001,2002

Mark CoreyRight-handed pitcher Mark Corey was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds on February 4, 1999 in exchange for infielder Ralph Milliard.  He made his Major League debut on October 2, 2001, in just one inning of work he allowed 3 runs and 4 hits.  Corey made one more appearance three days later with better results; he allowed no runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Corey started the 2002 season in the minors before getting the call to join the big club in the middle of May. He made his 2002 debut on May 13 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and suffered the loss by giving up the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning.   Following the game, he was shipped back to the minors only to return a month later. He remained with the Mets before being traded to the Colorado Rockies at the trading deadline along with Jay Payton and Robert Stratton for John Thomson and Mark Little.  With the Mets in 2002 Corey appeared in 12 games and posted a 0-3 record with 4.50 ERA. 

In 14 appearances for the Mets over two seasons Mark Corey went 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.

While with the Mets Corey wore number 27.

Mark Corey also played for the following teams:
Colorado Rockies – 2002
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2003,2004

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Raul Gonzalez – His New York Mets Career 2002,2003

Raul GonzalezOutfielder Raul Gonzalez was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds along with Pedro Feliciano Brady Clark and Elvin Andujar in exchange for Shawn Estes on August 15, 2002.  He got off to a strong start going 2 for 3 against the San Francisco Giants in his Mets debut on August 21st.  He followed that up with a 2 for 4 performance the next day.  He finished out the 2002 season strong hitting .259 with three home runs and eleven RBI’s.  Two of his home runs came in one game on August 25th against the Colorado Rockies.

Gonzalez started the 2003 season in the minors with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets triple A affiliate, and got off to a strong start.  Based on his strong showing in the minors Gonzalez was brought back to the Mets on April 23rd.  In his first at bat of the season against the Houston Astros Gonzalez hit a home run.   Gonzalez would finish out the season with the Mets but could never gain any consistency hitting a disappointing .230 in 107 games with just two home runs and 21 runs batted in. 

Gonzalez started the 2004 season with the Norfolk Tides but after hitting .262 in his first 18 games he was released by the Mets on May 17th and signed with the Cleveland Indians. 

In 137 games with the Mets over two seasons Gonzalez hit .238 with five home runs and 32 RBI’s.

While with the Mets Gonzalez wore number 21.

Raul Gonzalez also played for the following teams:
Chicago Cubs – 2000
Cincinnati Reds – 2001,2002
Cleveland Indians – 2004

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