Rain Delay Of Mets News • Latino Sports


Rain Delay Of Mets News


Credit: Joe McDonald/NY Sports Day

Flushing, NY: Two games Wednesday were scheduled at Citi Field and with a rain delay of five-and-a-half hours one was played and two are scheduled for Thursday with a 3:10pm start.

There was expected to be a makeup of this four-game series when the Marlins return to New York in two weeks to conclude the season but that was avoided.

Despite the Mets and Marlins finishing up their disappointing seasons, and with these games meaningless, with exception of the Mets’ Jacob deGrom vying for the NL CY Young Award, baseball wants all 162 games to be played.

So with that, here is some rain delay theater coming out of Citi Field Thursday:

The longtime Mets publicity guru Jay Horwitz had a press conference Wednesday afternoon and it was about himself. But the Vice President of Media Relations who has been with the organization since April 1, 1980, is not retiring  or going away.

Horwitz, 72 years of age, is assuming a new role as Vice President, Alumni Public Relations and team historian. That’s a good thing. Horwitz is an icon with the Mets and been around the game of baseball as a longtime director of media, dedicating his career to the organization.

It’s been quite a ride for Horwitz, and not many have had this stability with one team all these years. It takes him from the Mets bad days to the world championship year of 1986, and six other postseasons that include the division series, NLCS, and NL wild card games.

So, Horwitz has been a major part of NY baseball history and will take that experience with him in his new role that begins October 1st. Horwitz has never been or wanted to be the center of attention. And that includes his years with Mets greats such as Doc Gooden, Daryl Strawberry  and the arrival of Mike Piazza.

Credit: Joe McDonald

With the 50-year celebration next year of the 1969 Mets Amazing run to World Champions, Horwitz will assume that role of being the major player in celebrating a significant part of NY Mets history.

“I’m ready for this new chapter in my life,” said Horwitz Wednesday afternoon in the Citi Field press conference room.  “I’m looking forward to working with players, managers and coaches that I’ve known close to four decades. My goal is to expand the Mets alumni family.”

That alumni family, a good many of them were there for Horwitz and so were the many members of the media who got to turn the table and ask the questions. Usually it was Horwitz looking at the hand and making sure the microphone was handed over to ask the questions for pre and post game meetings with the media.

Gooden, Strawberry, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez from that 1986 team were there. Former managers Bobby Valentine and Terry Collins along with outgoing GM Sandy Alderson, just to name a few of Mets history, also came to wish Horwitz well.

It was Mets history for a day. But there will be many more days like this, now that Jay Horwtiz has assumed a role that the Mets should have initiated many years ago.

Said David Wright, who offered similar sentiments of past and current players, “He’s been a teacher. You’ve always had our backs. I’ve seen you get pretty close to fist fights with members of the media and that’s certainly something that we’ll never forget.”

Horwitz came out of that mold of old school, in other words the laptop, cell phone and social media were not the tools of his trade. Instead it was the typewriter and fax machine. E-mails back in 1980 were still a few years away.

So the only way back then to get Horwitz, if he could be reached, was the phone call. Needed a credential to cover the Mets at Shea Stadium and he asked that the letter be faxed from the editor. Needed confirmation, you had to reach Jay by phone.

Simply put, it worked and as Mets ambassador and former closer John Franco said, “He would fight for the players.”

On a personal note, as many know, Frank Howard the former home run hitter became a personal friend when assuming the managers job back in that horrific losing year of 1983, though Howard in 116 games after taking over for George Bamberger would guide the Mets with a  52-64 record.

After another Mets loss at Shea Stadium, “Hondo” as he was called, closed the door of the managers office and asked that yours truly remain. It was unusual to single out one reporter and there was suspicion.

Jay Horwitz wanted to know? He said, “Richie, this is not good.” But the talk was about boxing, a passion that Frank Howard had in common with this writer.

It would take a few weeks to understand that situation.  This was Jay Horwtiz who broke in with the big league team three years earlier. This was the new beat writer for the Mets and it was easy to understand.

Jay Horwitz was doing his job then and he still is. The good thing, he will be staying put for a long time more at Citi Field.

METS STERLING AWARD WINNERS: Prior to the Mets rain delay of five-and-a half hours, the team presented their 2018 Sterling Award winners that are Most Valuable Players for each of the organizations’s nine minor league affiliates.

Peter Alonzo, a 2016 Mets first round pick was named Sterling Minor League Player of the Year. The first baseman batted .285 with 36 home runs and 119 RBI in 132 minor league games between Binghamton and Las Vegas The RBI total was the most among all minor leaguers.

“Citi Field is a cathedral,” he said about his tour of the ballpark. Alonso will report to the Arizona Fall League and hopes to get a spot on the big league roster next year as there were reports before the September 1st roster expansions that he would be a part of showing skills to finish off the season.

Andres Gimenez the 19-year old non-drafted free agent of 2015, with St. Lucie of the Florida State League combined to hit .281 with 29 doubles, five triples, six homers, 46 RBI, 82 runs scored with 38 stolen bases.

He has speed and the Mets are looking at this 2017 top 47 prospect as a major part of their future.

“Continue to play hard and be where I have to be,” Gimenez said through a translator. “Will be working more on my speed and throwing.”

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About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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