My latest for Bleacher Report: 10 Numbers That Should Be Retired by MLB Teams Right Now

Some teams have numbers that should be retired.

The Red Sox should hang up #26 for Wade Boggs.

The Yankees should take #54 out of circulation for Rich Gossage.

The Mets blew a chance to honor Gary Carter before he died.

The Astros should honor J. R. Richard before it is too late.

In my latest article for Bleacher Report, I list the 10 numbers that I think should be retired right now. And there are two specific examples that I give that might be controversial, but I think I found a way around the drama.

Read the article here.

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Mets… you BLEW it. You should have retired Carter’s number

Mets, you have screwed up a lot since Beltran took a called third strike in the 2006 NLCS.

On the field the you have had epic collapses and last day eliminations.
You’ve had bloated payrolls that yielded losing records.
You’ve signed free agents that don’t fit.
You turned the incredible advantage of playing in New York into a handicap.
You have empty seats in a new stadium that was designed to honor teams that left town instead your own franchise.
You have dragged the team through the Bernie Madoff scandal.

But for some reason, the most recent blunder by the Mets just seems like the worst of them all.

You did not retire Gary Carter’s number while he was alive.
Why not?

Seriously.
What POSSIBLE explanation can there be for this? What justification can you vomit up to make me say “Oh, that makes sense”?

Not enough time?
He was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
That’s 11 seasons where you could have found the time to have a day for the lone Hall of Famer on the Mets’ second World Series title… one that was saved by Gary Carter’s single that started one of the greatest World Series rallies in history.

Were you upset that he had an Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque?

You do know that he WANTED to have a Mets cap but the Hall of Fame decides such matters after the whole Dave Winfield situation.

Did you think “Hey, he had his number retired with the Expos and we don’t retire numbers that other teams have honored”?

Then explain why Casey Stengel’s number is retired.

I am going to go out on a limb and say the 1986 Mets were a better team than the 1962 Mets.

Were you mad that Carter publicly lobbied for the job of Mets manager?

Well maybe he thought, as a Hall of Fame catcher with a great knowledge of the game and connection to the organization, that he was qualified.

It’s not like Art Howe was the second coming of John McGraw while in New York!

What, was your schedule too busy last year to plan a day for him?

We found out that Carter was dying LAST SPRING!

The minute you found out, you should have said “Let’s have a day.” Some time in August. Get all the Mets together, rent a stage and get someone to make a big ass #8.

Have Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson and everyone else there.

And you should have given Carter the chance to wave to the fans and CitiField to give him a standing ovation.

What was last year too jam packed with events? The team was sub .500 and the attendance was in the lower half of the National League.

You barely outdrew the Padres last year! Just for cynical dollars and cents and paying back the Madoff debt, you have Gary Carter Day so Met fans could see an ACTUAL MET PLAYOFF TEAM ON THE FIELD!

But no.
You didn’t.

And now he’s dead.
You screwed up.

Say what you want about the Yankees, they know how to honor their stars.

Lou Gehrig is dying? They gave him the greatest ceremony of all time.

Babe Ruth slipping away? They have a day for him.

When Mickey Mantle was dying in the 1990s and Bobby Murcer was dying in the 2000s, they had ceremonies where the fans could give them a standing ovation.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination.

It doesn’t take a lot of planning.

It doesn’t take a lot of brains.

It doesn’t take a lot of heart.

And you, the New York Mets, evidently have none of the four.

This is not second guessing. People have been saying this since last year!

Not just bloggers… the New York Post did as well.

And now you can’t. Even if you do now, it will posthumous.

It will be a sad day instead of a joyous one.

I ranted last year about how stupid it was that the Reds waited for Sparky Anderson’s death to retire his number.

This is even worse.

You screwed up Mets.

Is there ANYTHING you can do right?

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Sully Baseball Salutes… Gary Carter

Hall of Famer Gary Carter is gone.
He passed away at the awfully young age of 57.

And it makes me sad.
Which is odd when you consider the fact that the player on the 1986 Mets that I hated the most as a Red Sox fan was Gary Carter.

But there was a reason I fumed when I thought of Carter and not Doug Sisk.
Carter was always in the middle of the Mets wins.

In Game 4, with the Mets still down 2-1 in the series, it was Carter who clubbed a 2 run homer off of Al Nipper to break a scoreless tie. He would add a second homer to put the game away.

In Game 6, Carter applied the tag on Jim Rice that prevented the Red Sox from scoring a critical insurance run. Later in the game with the Mets 5 outs from elimination in the 8th inning, it was Carter who hit the game tying sacrifice fly.

And of course, with the Red Sox 1 out from winning the World Series, it was Carter who began THE RALLY with a single to left.

He would score on Ray Knight’s bloop single.

And for good measure in Game 7, he drove in the tying run in the 6th inning and jumped in the air when Marty Barrett struck out.

I hated him.
One reason I hated him was he looked so damn happy! He was loving it. He loved being in the spotlight and being on a champion after years of playing in Montreal (for some good teams but never in the World Series.)

And when I was so sad, I hated seeing his big toothy smile.

Gary Carter made my blood boil.

I hated that people called him “The Kid.”
That was Ted Williams’ nickname.

But a funny thing happens with time (and 2 later World Series titles.)
I gained a lot of respect and reverence for Carter.

He was one of the great players of the 1980s, the era that I remember most in baseball.
He was a legit Hall of Famer.

And all of that smiling and leaping in the air, arms up in the air, that drove me bonkers, suddenly became endearing.

He loved the game.

He loved playing it and winning.

And if he was a member of the Boston Red Sox, I would have LOVED him!

He was a winner, right to his dying day.

If you told me on that night in 1986 that I would be sad over Gary Carter, I would have thought you were bonkers.

But I am.

Rest in peace, Kid.

I’m glad you got a ring. I just wish it was with the Expos.

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