LOOKING BACK AT TODD PRATT’S LEGENDARY HOME RUN

Amazin' Avenue
05.18.2017

Todd Pratt fields this question more than any other, on those rare occasions when the press bothers to ask him anything. Whenever the question is asked, he must object. First of all, he never delivered pizzas. He managed a Domino’s franchise, thank you very much. That was the sort of work awaiting Pratt when the Mariners released him following the 1996 season, and with his baseball career seemingly over, he was grateful to have any job at all. He’ll have you know that on the night of Super Bowl XXXI, while most of America watched Brett Favre’s Packers beat Drew Bledsoe’s Patriots, he pushed a thousand orders out the door. It was hard work, sweaty and cramped and without a shred of glory. Not too different from catching, really. “There’s nothing wrong with managing a pizza parlor,” he counsels the media. They’ll take his word on that.

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JOE TORRE REPLACES JOE FRAZIER AS METS MANAGER

New York Daily News
06.01.1977 (original)

Joe Torre, long considered the prime candidate, replaced the ousted Joe Frazier as Mets manager last night. The announcement, which preceded the club’s game against the Expos at Shea Stadium, was made by general manager Joe McDonald.

Torre, who will be 37 in July, signed a long-term contract through the 1979 season. For the present, he will remain on the active roster, but his managerial duties probably will limit his participation to that of a pinch-hitter.

“I can just hope that our ballclub responds to me,” the swarthy Brooklyn-born Torre told a hastily convened media. “What I’d like to do is put a lineup out there and see what happens. I do have some ideas that I’d like to try out.”

Originally published by the New York Daily News on June 1, 1977. This story was written by Red Foley.)

STRANGE SCENE BEHIND THE CURTAIN AT CEREMONY FOR DWIGHT GOODEN

New York Times
05.29.2017

A few weeks back, Bill de Blasio tried to slip into the skin of a Mets fan and honor pitcher Dwight Gooden, a lost son of the 1986 championship Mets. Gooden is a gentle and fragile soul whose struggles with alcohol and cocaine have stretched many decades. In 1986, he partied too hard and missed the championship parade.

So city workers hung red, white, and blue bunting and Mets banners from the balconies of the elegant old City Hall and erected a stage, and de Blasio presided over a recreated ceremony to honor Gooden. Press aides and the mayor hawked this as a celebration of a recovered addict. They noted it was put on by a documentary filmmaker, Amy Heart.

“Doc didn’t get the accolade that day in 1986, that parade, he didn’t get to stand here with teammates and Mayor Koch,” de Blasio said on the stage. “We’re going to fix that right now.”

The confected nature of this ceremony was curious. My colleague J. David Goodman, who covers the mayor, began to ask how the mayor’s staff had come to throw this party.

Goodman unearthed intriguing facts. Heart was not a documentarian; she was a would-be celebrity — her website features shots of her posing with athletes and of her in furs and bikini underwear — in hopes of turning this “ceremony” into a reality television vehicle for herself.

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The Stengel Report is a fun, informative weekly email newsletter created exclusively for loyal Mets Rewind readers. The weekly content includes exclusive stories, previews of future stories and special giveaways available only to our subscribers.
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