Gerald Williams – His New York Mets Career 2004,2005

Gerald WilliamsGerald Williams, a 12-year veteran outfielder, was signed by the Mets as a free agent on April 23, 2004.  He immediately reported to the AAA Norfolk Tides where he hit .305 with 7 home runs.  He was called up to New York in June and made his Met debut on June 9 in an interleague game against the Minnesota Twins. As the starting leftfielder, he homered off Johan Santana the eventual AL Cy Young Award winner but the Mets lost 5-3.    He would appear in 57 games for the Mets 2004 and hit .233 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs.  His most productive game came on August 19th against the Colorado Rockies when had 3 hits including a two-run home run as the Mets won 10-3.

Williams started the 2005 season in the minors before being called up in June.  As a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter he appeared in 39 games.  He hit .233 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs.  His only home run came on August 13 in the Mets 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2005 would not only be Williams last with the Mets it was his last in the Majors.  In 96 games with the Mets he hit .233 with 5 home runs and 14 RBIs.

While with the Mets Williams wore number 6 in 2004 and 21 in 2005.

Gerald Williams also played for the following teams:
New York Yankees – 1992-1996,2001,2002
Milwaukee Brewers – 1996,1997
Atlanta Braves – 1998,1999
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2000,2001
Florida Marlins – 2003

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Mike Stanton – His New York Mets Career 2003,2004

Mike StantonThe Mets signed left-handed reliever Mike Stanton as a free agent on December 16, 2002.  Prior to joining the Mets Stanton spent the previous six seasons playing for the Yankees where he played an integral part in helping them win three World Series titles.  The Mets planned to use Stanton in the same manor the Yankees did, as a left-handed setup man.

Stanton made his Met debut on April 3, 2003 pitching a scoreless 8th inning in the Mets 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.  Stanton would go on to appear in 50 games and post a 2-7 record with 5 saves and a 4.57 ERA.  His first win as a Met came on April 25 when he pitched 2 scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Stanton returned in 2004 and set the Mets single season record for appearances by a pitcher with 83.  A record that was broken in 2008 by Pedro Feliciano.  Stanton went 2-6 with a 3.16 ERA.  On August 3 against the Milwaukee Brewers, he became the second pitcher in Mets history to strikeout 4 batters in one inning. The other being Derek Wallace.

Following the season, the Mets traded Stanton back to the Yankees for Felix Heredia.  While with the Mets Stanton appeared in 133 games and posted a 4-13 record with 5 saves and a 3.68 ERA.

While with the Mets Stanton wore number 32.

Mike Stanton also played for the following teams:
Atlanta Braves – 1989-1995
Boston Red Sox – 1995,1996,2005
Texas Rangers – 1996
New York Yankees – 1997-2002,2005
Washington Nationals – 2005,2006
San Francisco Giants – 2006
Cincinnati Reds – 2007

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Jeff Duncan – His New York Mets Career 2003,2004

Jeff DuncanThe Mets drafted outfielder Jeff Duncan in the 7th round of the 2000 amateur draft.  He would make his Major League debut with the Mets on May 20, 2003 as a pinch hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies, he hit into a fielder’s choice.  He played in three more games before returning to the minors.   Duncan returned to New York in mid July and got off to a fast start, he hit .400 during his first 11 games back in the majors, 12 for 30.  During that span, he also hit his first Major League home run, a solo shot against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 12.  Unfortunately, he would struggle the remainder of the season.  In 56 games, he hit just .194 with a home run and 10 RBIs.

Duncan started the 2004 season with the Mets, but after hitting just .067 in 13 games, mainly as a pinch hitter, he was sent down to the minors.  He remained in the Mets organization before being released on August 10, 2005.

In 69 games for the Mets Duncan hit .182 with 1 home runs and 11 RBIs.

While with the Mets Duncan wore number 61 in 2003 and number 10 in 2004.

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Tom Glavine – His New York Mets Career 2003-2007

Tom GlavineAfter years of tormenting them as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Tom Glavine took his talented left arm to New York and signed as a free agent with the Mets prior to the 2003 season.   Most Met fans had mixed emotions over the signing.  True they were getting a two-time Cy Young award winner and future Hall of Famer but they were also getting someone they grew to hate over the years as a member of their hated rival. 

Glavine didn’t exactly endear himself to Met fans early on as he was shellacked in his first game as Met.  On Opening Day 2003 he lasted just 3 2/3 innings while giving up 8 hits and 5 runs.  Things didn’t exactly pick up from that point as he struggled for most of the season, finishing with a 9 and 14 record and 4.52 ERA.  It was the first time since 1988 that Glavine posted a losing record and failed to win 10 games. The highlight of his first season in New York came in September when his brother Mike was brought up from the minors and they became the first brothers to play for the Mets.

In 2004, Glavine started the season pitching like his old self.  He started out with a 7-3 record with a 2.03 ERA and was named to the National League All – Star team.  Included in his fast start was a one hit shutout against the Montreal Expos on May 23rd.  However, he struggled during the second half of the season and once again finished with a losing record, this time 11-14.  It did not help matters that he was involved in a car accident while riding in a taxi and lost his front teeth.

His third season in New York turned out to be the opposite of his second.  In 2005, he started with a 5 and 7 record with a 4.93 ERA.  However, he managed to turn his season around in the second half and finished with a 13 and 13 record while lowering his ERA by nearly a run and a half. 

2006 turned out to be his best season with the Mets not only personally but for the team as well.  The Mets ran away and won the National League Eastern Division while Glavine led the team with 15 wins.  During the months of May and June, he was 8 and 0 and with his record at 11-2 was selected to his second National League All-Star team while with the Mets.  During the postseason, he won his only start in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching six shutout innings.  In the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals, he won the opening game of the series once again pitching shutout baseball, this time for seven innings.  But he lost the critical game five, which would have given the Mets a 3-2 series lead.  The Mets would lose the series in seven games.

Tom Glavine’s original contract with the Mets was up following the 2006 season, but sensing the Mets had unfinished business after failing to achieve their goal of a World Series title in 2006, Glavine resigned with the Mets for another year.  But by the end of the season Mets fans had wished that Tom Glavine had never worn a Met uniform.  Things were initially going well for the Mets and Glavine.  They were cruising to their second straight division title and Glavine was enjoying another solid season.  Along the way Glavine became the 23rd pitcher and just the 6th lefthander to win 300 games.  He accomplished the feat on August 5th against the Chicago Cubs.  But then it happened, with the Mets in the midst of the worst September collapse in baseball history Glavine pitched two of the worst games of his career.  First on September 25th he allowed six runs over five innings as the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals 10-9.  Than on the last day of the season with the Mets needing a victory to either win the division or force a one game playoff against the Philadelphia Phillies Glavine completely imploded.  He lasted just 1/3 of an inning allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 7 earned runs.  The game was over before it started and the Mets season was lost. 

At that point Met fans were willing to drive Glavine to the airport as he left town.  Glavine returned to Atlanta where he pitched a half season before an arm injury ended his career,

In five seasons with the Mets Tom Glavine finished with a 61-56 record and 3.97 ERA.

While with the Mets Glavine wore number 47.

Tom Glavine also played for the Atlanta Braves from 1987-2002 and 2008. 

Tom Glavine was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Ricky Bottalico – His New York Mets Career 2004

Ricky BottalicoThe Mets signed right-handed reliever Ricky Bottalico, a former All-Star with the Philadelphia Phillies, as a free agent on February 4, 2004.  After starting the season in the minors with the Norfolk Tides, Bottalico made his Mets debut on May 5th against the San Francisco Giants. He pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 8-2 victory.  He would appear in 60 games for the Mets in 2004, all out of the bullpen as a middle reliever.  He posted a 3-2 record with a 3.38 ERA in 69 1/3 innings.  He also struck out 61 batters.  His first win as a Met came on May 18 against the St Louis Cardinals, he pitched the final two innings in the Mets 5-4 victory.

Following the season Bottalico was granted free agency and he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.

While with the Mets Bottalico wore number numbers 34 and 20.

Ricky Bottalico also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1994-1998, 2001, 2002
St. Louis Cardinals – 1999
Kansas City Royals – 2000
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2003
Milwaukee Brewers – 2005

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Vance Wilson – His New York Mets Career 1999-2004

Vance WilsonAfter two brief cups of coffee with the Mets in 1999 and 2000 catcher Vance Wilson was promoted to the Mets in July of 2001 and would stay with the big club for the next four seasons serving as backup to All-star Mike Piazza.   His greatest strength to the Mets was his ability to throw out base runners and he was used primarily as a late inning defensive replacement.  From 2001 to 2003 Wilson. was one of the top catchers in the league in throwing out base runners, averaging 45%.

Offensively he was no match for Mike Piazza, arguably the best hitting catcher in the history of the game, but Wilson did manage to put up some respectable numbers.  In 2003, he posted career bests with 8 home runs and 39 RBI’s. and hit a career best .274 in 2004.   

Following the 2004 season the Mets traded Vance Wilson to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for infielder Anderson Hernandez.  In 286 games with the Mets from 1999-2004 Wilson hit .254 with 17 home runs and 92 RBIs.  He also threw out 44% of would be base stealers.

While with the Mets Wilson wore number 3.

Vance Wilson also played for the Detroit Tigers in 2005 and 2006.

 

 

 

 

Cliff Floyd – His New York Mets Career 2003-2006

cliff floydPrior to the 2003 season the Mets signed Cliff Floyd as a free agent to play leftfield.   Floyd’s career was plagued by injuries and his stint with the Mets was no different.  But his upbeat personality and veteran leadership made him a fan favorite.

After a slow start to the 2003 season, he was hitting just .238 after the month of April; Floyd rebounded and was enjoying a very productive season before a right Achilles injury sidelined him in the middle of August.  He finished the season with a .290 average with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs.  His second season in 2004 was almost a carbon copy of the first except his average dropped to .260 and the injury which sidelined him was a right quadricep suffered in the first month of the season.  He still managed to once again hit 18 homeruns while driving in 63 runs.

Floyd managed to stay off the DL in 2005 and by doing so enjoyed his best season in New York.  After the first month of the season he was hitting .366 with 20 RBIs.  He would finish the season with a personal best 34 home runs to lead the team while knocking in 98 runs. He also enjoyed a 20-game hitting streak.

The injury bug once again bit Floyd in 2006 as he suffered his worst season statistically while with the Mets.  But his veteran leadership helped the Mets cruise to the National League Eastern Division Championship and their first postseason appearance since 2000.  He hit only .244 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs.

In the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers he hit a home run in game one and finished the series with a .444 average.  But he also reinjured his Achilles tendon.  After the Mets swept the Dodgers to advance to the NLCS there was talk of taking him off the postseason roster.  But sensing that he could still be a threat with the long ball he was left on the roster.  He started game one of the NLCS but the injury was too severe and he was taken out of the game after just one at bat.  He would make two more appearances as pinch hitter but went 0-3 in the series as the Mets lost to the St Louis Cardinals in seven games.

Following the season, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs.  In 468 games over four seasons with the Mets Floyd batted .268 with 81 home runs and 273 RBIs.

While with the Mets Floyd wore number 30.

Cliff Floyd also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 1993-1996, 2002
Florida Marlins – 1997-2002
Boston Red Sox – 2002
Chicago Cubs – 2007
Tampa Bay Rays – 2008
San Diego Padres – 2009

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Tyler Yates – His New York Mets Career 2004

tyler yatesRight-handed pitcher Tyler Yates was acquired from the Oakland A’s prior to the 2002 season.  After spending two seasons in the minors he made the Mets pitching staff out of spring training in 2004. In his Major League debut on April 9 against the Montreal Expos Yates pitched six shutout innings and received a no-decision in the Mets 3-2 victory.  Ten days later he recorded his first career victory allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings against the Atlanta Braves.  Unfortunately, that would pretty much be the lone highlight of his season.  Yates lost his next three starts and was eventually moved to the bullpen.  At the end of June with his record at 1-4 and his ERA at 7.07 the Mets demoted Yates to the minors. 

Yates returned to New York in September and finished the season pitching exclusively out of the bullpen.  He appeared in a total of 21 games for the season and finished with a 2-4 record and 6.36 ERA.

Yates missed the entire 2005 season with a rotator cuff injury and when he was ready to pitch again he signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.

While with the Mets Yates wore numbers 32 and 33.

Tyler Yates also played for the following teams:
Atlanta Braves – 2006,2007
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2008,2009

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Todd Zeile – His New York Mets Career 2000,2001,2004

Todd ZeileOver the course of his 16-year career Todd Zeile played for 11 different teams including two stints with the Mets.   When the Mets initially signed Todd Zeile prior to the 2000 season it came as a surprise to many not because he wasn’t a solid major league player but because he was signed to play first base to replace the departed John Olerud.  The problem was that Todd Zeile was not a first baseman.  He had played sporadically at the position during his career but played mainly third base after starting his career at catcher.    Nevertheless, Zeile proved to be a steady defensive first baseman, not flashy but got the job done, while putting up solid offensive numbers.  In his first year in New York Zeile hit .268 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs, including a 13-game hitting streak in June, and helped the Mets reach the World Series for the first time since 1986.

In the postseason Zeile had a horrendous NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, he hit just .071.  However, in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals he caught fire.  He hit .368 with a home run while driving in a team best eight runs as the Mets defeated the Cardinals in five games.  His eight RBIs were the most by a Met player in postseason series in franchise history.

He continued his hot hitting in the World Series against the Yankees.  Zeile hit .400 but only drove in 1 run as the Mets lost the series in five games. In game one Todd Zeile hit what appeared to be a two-run home run that would have given the Mets an early lead, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall, though replays showed it might have been interfered with by a fan.  Zeile was only credited with a double and base runner Timo Perez was thrown out at the plate.  Instead of being up 2-0, the game remained scoreless and the rest as they say is history.

Zeile returned for the 2001 season, but his power numbers dipped dramatically. He hit only 10 home runs while driving in 62 and led the team in strikeouts with 102 as the Mets struggled for most of the season.  Based in large part to his power deficiency the Mets decided to trade Zeile to the Colorado Rockies in the off-season along with Benny Agbayani in exchange for Alex Ochoa, Ross Glad and Craig House.

Zeile would play one season in Colorado before moving on to play for the Yankees and Expos in 2003.  The Mets than decided to give Zeile another chance and signed him as a free agent prior to the 2004 season, in what proved to be his last season as a player.  Zeile played in 137 games in 2004 but hit just .233 with 9 home runs and 33 RBIs as the Mets suffered through a terrible season.  However, Zeile did manage to reach a significant milestone in his final season by recording his 2000th career hit.  In his last game as a professional on October 3rd, the last game of the season, the Mets allowed Zeile to play one final game as a catcher.  In his last at bat of his career, he hit a three-run home run.

In three seasons with the Mets Zeile appeared in 441 games and hit .259 with 41 home runs and 176 RBIs.

While with the Mets Zeile wore number 9 in 2000 and 2001 and number 27 in 2004.

Todd Zeile also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1989-1995
Chicago Cubs – 1995
Baltimore Orioles – 1996
Philadelphia Phillies – 1996
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1997,1998
Texas Rangers – 1998,1999
Florida Marlins – 1998
Colorado Rockies – 2002
New York Yankees – 2003
Montreal Expos – 2003

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Braden Looper – His New York Mets Career 2004-2005

Braden LooperThe New York Mets signed Braden Lopper to be their new closer prior to the 2004 season.  Looper was coming off a season in which he saved 28 games for the Florida Marlins and helped them win the World Series.

Braden Looper made his Met debut on opening day in 2004 pitching a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.  From that point on he would go on to have his best season of his seven-year career converting 29 of 34 save opportunities to lead the team while posting a 2.70 ERA, though he did have a losing record at 2-5.

Looper started the 2005 season by blowing the save on Opening Day by giving up 2 home runs in the 9th inning.  It would be a sign of things to come for Looper in 2005.  Despite leading the team once again in saves with 28 he blew 8 games.  After blowing the game against the New York Yankees, in a game that would have given the Mets a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium, the fans started to turn on Looper.  With the constant barrage of boos Looper suffered through the season with a 4-7 record and 3.94 ERA

At the end of September, it was revealed that Looper was pitching most of the season with a blown AC Joint which would require surgery.  To his credit, he never used the injury as an excuse for his struggles. 

The Mets chose not to pick up Looper’s option following the 2005 season and he signed a three-year contract with the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals eventually transformed Looper into a starting pitcher.

His final numbers in his two seasons with the Mets were a 6-12 record with 57 saves and a 3.22 ERA.

While with the Mets Looper wore number 40.

Braden Looper also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1998,2006-2008
Florida Marlins – 1999-2003
Milwaukee Brewers – 2009