Joe Torre must have given a good speech last night because the Yankees came from behind and won tonight for the first time all year. In a spectacularly poor statistic, they were 0-20 in games where they were behind after the sixth inning. That doesn't show a lot of fire and vinegar. But tonight was different and the same pitchers who made them look terrible last night in that six pitcher no hitter were spanked for the loss and blown save tonight.
Across town, the Mets fired General Manager Steve Phillips a half a year after they fired Bobby Valentine. It's hard to know how much blame to assign to a GM when a team fails. He just couldn't seem to catch these older players correctly. Robbie Alomar seemed like the best second baseman that ever lived until he became a Met. Now he doesn't seem any better than Horace Clarke. Jeremy Burnitz hit dozens of homers for the lowly Brewers and was one of the league's premier power hitters until he became a Met. Last year, he looked like Rich Gedman after he got all fouled up by the Charlie Lau swing.
It's hard to know which side of the career Tom Glavine was on. Was there a reason why Atlanta let him walk? Did they know something Phillips didn't? The statistics don't show any slippage in Glavine's performance from 2001 to 2002. He was typically great. Who would figure that this year he would be injured so often and so ineffective because of it.
It was easy to see that Piazza was slipping year to year. Every year his stats came down bit by bit. He will rank, if he moves to first or elsewhere, as the best hitting catcher ever. But his best years are gone. That wasn't Phillips fault. Mo Vaughan was his fault. Mo had slowed down by the time he hit Anaheim and then lost a year to injury. It is much easier for pitchers to miss that much time than it is for hitters. Mo was short for Molasses and that's how slow his swing was with the Mets.
The Mets just seemed off the last couple of years and every thing they tried just seemed to fall apart on them. I guess you can blame the GM or the manager before him. But I guess my blame would fall with the players. But I guess you can't fire a whole team.