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A History of the Mets at Second Base Part 7 - Roberto Alomar

Barry DuchanSaturday, December 27, 2008
By Barry Duchan

Editor's Note: This is the seventh in a series of new articles Barry will be writing on Mets second basemen for this site. - M.S.

The combination of Robin Ventura at third base and Edgardo Alfonzo at second worked quite nicely for the Mets from 1999 to 2001, but the Mets felt that Ventura was at the end of his road and thought a change was in order for 2002. Either a new third baseman was needed or Alfonzo could move back to third and a new second baseman had to be acquired.

Had the Mets kept either Jeff Kent or Fernando Vina, they would have been much better off, but most baseball observers agreed that getting perennial all-star and golden glover Roberto Alomar from Cleveland was a no-brainer. Despite the fact that bringing a veteran star to the Mets inevitably backfired, the overwhelming consensus was that Alomar was still in his prime and would team with Rey Ordonez to make up one of the great DP combinations in Major League history. Unlike Baerga, Alomar gave no signs of having lost much before coming to the Mets, but it seemed that from the day he reported to spring training that he was a shadow of the player he had been for many years.

Not only was Alomar disappointing with the bat, but his skills on defense eroded in a hurry. He seemed to have no enthusiasm for the game or the team and it was just a matter of time before the fans would run him out of town. The Mets gave up a package of players for Alomar, none of whom did much for Cleveland, and that made it all a little easier to swallow, but there was no way to get around the fact that this was a disastrous mistake.

When the Mets finally dumped Alomar, sending him to the White Sox in July of 2003 for 3 minor leaguers, they gave some playing time to young players like Marco Scutaro and Danny Garcia. At the time of the White Sox deal, there was some talk that the Mets would get minor league infielder Aaron Miles, who the White Sox had no plans for, as part of the package. That would have been pretty good as Miles as turned out to be a decent big league second baseman, but instead the Mets went for a Class A infielder named Andrew Salvo who never developed.

This sad chapter in Mets' second base history would soon be followed by yet another. The Kaz Matsui/ Jose Reyes saga was coming up.

Part 1 - A History of Mistakes
Part 2 - The Sixties
Part 3 - The Seventies and Eighties
Part 4 - Gregg Jefferies
Part 5 - Jeff Kent
Part 6 - The Carlos Baerga era/error
Part 7 - Roberto Alomar - Current Article
Part 8 - 2004 - 2005
Part 9 - 2006 - 2008
Part 10 - The Future

Note: More of Barry Duchan's writings can be found on his own Metscentric blog.

About Barry Duchan: I've been following the Mets since 1962. Have to admit I was a Yankee fan as a kid, but I found it to be so much more interesting to see how a young team could build itself up rather than following a team where the season didn't really begin until October. I remember them all - Casey, Marv, ChooChoo, Don Bosch, The Stork, etc. As the years went on, I became more and more of a Mets fan, and a Yankee hater once Steinbrenner and Billy Martin entered the picture.   Read More -->

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Comments (3)

It was during this era that the "Mike Piazza is Gay" rumors began -- somewhat as a result of comments that Bobby Valentine made about Major League Baseball being ready to accept an openly gay athlete and a NY Post trash reporter (who died soon after writing it) have the gaul to make a big issue out of it .... what I have heard later is that when Valentine made his comments, it was not Piazza whom he had in mind but rather it was Alomar .... apparently there were wispers for years about Alomar's "preference" but it was Piazza who bore the brunt of all that crap at the time. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Piazza has since tied the knot and has a baby daughter while lomar has receeded into bachelorhood oblivion ...

Boy I remember saying we really found a guy who can fill the hole at 2nd base. he looked good on paper. I have said that more than once since then, with the same empty feeling as I watched that position go down in flames with another one who looked good on paper.I keep writing Hudson's name to that position and he looks good and maybe he would fill the void, after a trade is made to make room for him? Only time will tell(2nd base is like a black hole for us.)

I thought Alomar was going to continue his Hall of Fame ways with the Mets, but even his defense fell off. Guess it was just bad timing when he came to the Mets. I was not sorry to see him go, I just believed he should have performed better. I know the Mets should never trade with Cleveland for any other secondbasemen again (Baerga). Now watch they trade Castillo to the tribe and he goes on to have two good seasons for them.

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