For a while, I’ve been providing daily reminders of what happened to the Mets on that particular date in 1999 and 2000 via Twitter. The problem with this, of course, is that it elides over much what actually happened; 140 characters and all that. So going forward, I will provide a brief (but not overly brief) summary here instead. Witness the first installment below.
1999: After losing eight straight games and falling under .500, the Mets FO sends a message to Bobby Valentine by firing three of his coaches, in a move that would come to be known as The Valentine’s Day Massacre. The Mets then force Valentine to sit through a press conference at Yankee Stadium while GM Steve Phillips inexplicably gives his manager a vote of confidence. Bobby V keeps his remarks brief, saying that he believes his team can win 40 of its next 55 games. The press barely suppresses the urge to laugh.
On the field, the Mets are forced to end their slump against Roger Clemens, currently owner of the longest winning streak in American League history (20 games). Amazingly, they torch the Rocket for 7 runs in 2 2/3 innings, including a bomb of a homer from Mike Piazza to Yankee Stadium’s batter’s eye in center. Even more amazingly, Al Leiter–erratic all season–stifles the Yankees lineup for seven innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 earned run. The Mets finally win again, 7-2, though if their losing streak had ended, the Bobby V death watch was far from over.
2000: An interleague matchup against the Orioles at Shea is rained out. The Orioles are rumored to be in fire sale mode for the second year in a row, and have several players the Mets covet; most notably, surprise All Star-to-be Mike Bordick, who could fill in at short for the injured Rey Ordonez.