The virtual 1969-76 Phillies, Cardinals, and Mets (Part 2:  1969-70)

Last week, we introduced a counterfactual scenario focusing on three competitors in the newly-created National League East Division. The first season’s results were slightly, but not dramatically, different than actuality.

          Phillies:  Actual         Cardinals:  Actual        Mets:  Actual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    63   99  5    645  745    87   75  4    595  540   100   62  1    632  541

          Phillies:  Virtual        Cardinals:  Virtual       Mets:  Virtual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    64   98  5    611  691    98   64  2    659  528   101   61  1    638  550

Now let’s see what 1970 has to offer.

The 1969-70 offseason: Actual deals we will make

Nov. 5, 1969: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Ray Washburn to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher George Culver.

In an otherwise unremarkable swap of middling-good right-handers, the Cardinals gained a six-year advantage in age, as Washburn was 31 and Culver 25. Our Cards will take it.

March 29, 1970: The New York Mets traded catcher J.C. Martin to the Chicago Cubs for catcher Randy Bobb.

The veteran Martin isn’t making the roster, so like the actual Mets, ours will be happy to replace him with a triple-A prospect.

The 1969-70 offseason: Actual deals we will not make

Oct. 21, 1969: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Dave Giusti and catcher Dave Ricketts to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder-catcher Carl Taylor and outfielder Frank Vanzin.

Taylor is a young utilityman with questionable defensive chops, but one heck of a bat. But our Cardinals don’t see a clear spot for him on our bench, and besides, as we’ll see below, we have a different team interested in Giusti.

Oct. 29, 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies signed pitcher Jim Bunning as a free agent.

Fun though it would be to see our old ace back in a Philly uniform, we’re committed to getting younger, so we’ll pass.

Nov. 17, 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielder Johnny Callison and a player to be named later to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Dick Selma and outfielder Oscar Gamble. (In Jan., 1970, the Phillies sent pitcher Larry Colton to the Cubs, completing the deal).

Our Phillies don’t have Callison. Our Mets do, and aren’t interested in this offer from the Cubs.

Nov. 21, 1969: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Vada Pinson to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Jose Cardenal.

Our St. Louis ball club doesn’t have Pinson, so Cardenal cannot be our Cardinal.

Nov. 25, 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies purchased pitcher Fred Wenz from the Boston Red Sox.

In our scenario, the hard-throwing-but-wild reliever Wenz went from Boston to Washington prior to the 1969 season. We won’t speculate as to whether the Senators would make him available, because our Phillies aren’t that interested anyway.

Dec. 3, 1969: The New York Mets traded outfielder-third baseman Amos Otis and pitcher Bob Johnson to the Kansas City Royals for third baseman Joe Foy.

The job Gil Hodges did as field manager of the Mets was widely recognized as brilliant, and deservedly so. But he wasn’t faultless, and his mishandling of the abundantly talented young Amos Otis in 1969 was pretty egregious. Hodges never provided Otis with the opportunity to prove himself as a major league regular, instead briefly playing him, then benching him, then sending him back to the minors. Apparently Hodges was less than enthused about the rookie’s attitude, and lobbied for this trade.

Our Mets were patient with Otis in 1969, and allowed him to play through his inevitable struggles and claim the primary third base job. Thus we aren’t frustrated with him as they were, and thus we aren’t tempted to replace him with Foy, who’d already established a reputation for serious attitude issues.

April 2, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Steve Huntz to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Billy McCool.

Huntz certainly has his limitations, but our Cardinals still like him better than McCool, who was a potential star a few years ago but is struggling mightily at this point.

The 1969-70 offseason: Deals we will invoke

Oct. 7, 1969: The St. Louis Cardinals traded catcher Tim McCarver, outfielder Curt Flood, pitcher Dave Giusti, and first baseman-outfielder Joe Hague to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder-infielder Richie Allen and catcher Mike Ryan. (Flood refused to report. On April 8, 1970, the Cardinals sent first baseman-outfielder Willie Montañez to the Phillies, and on Aug. 30, 1970, the Cardinals sent pitcher Jim Browning to the Phillies, completing the deal.)

This is a different working of the actual megablockbuster taking place on this day, but we’ll keep the essence of it: our Phillies are offloading the troublesome young superstar Allen, and our Cardinals are winning the bidding for him by surrendering the dependable veterans McCarver and Flood. (And so the momentous Act II of this deal will remain Flood’s refusal to report, and the Cardinals providing Montañez and Browning as replacements.)

But our Phillies will demand the veteran Giusti and the prospect Hague to be included in the package, and our Cardinals will ask for the good-field-no-hit Ryan in return.

Oct. 21, 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Don Cardwell to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Frank Vanzin and cash.

The Pirates couldn’t get Giusti from our Cardinals, so they’ll take the veteran Cardwell off the hands of our Phils instead.

Nov. 17, 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies traded first baseman Ed Kranepool to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Archie Reynolds and cash.

Since the Cubs are unable to acquire Johnny Callison, our Phillies will provide them with the left-handed bat of Kranepool instead. He’s been a disappointment, so we’ll take what we can get for him.

Dec. 3, 1969: The New York Mets traded outfielder Rod Gaspar and pitcher Bob Johnson to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitchers Fred Beene and Billy Wilson.

Our Phillies will provide bullpen depth to New York in exchange for the utility outfielder Gaspar and the hard-throwing minor league veteran Johnson.

Dec. 3, 1969: The New York Mets sold pitcher Cal Koonce to the Kansas City Royals.

And the Royals, unable to acquire Johnson, will have to settle for the journeyman Koonce instead.

Dec. 12, 1969: In a three-club deal, the New York Mets traded infielder Bob Heise to the San Francisco Giants. The Giants sent pitcher Ray Sadecki to the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Phillies sent infielder Tony Taylor to the Mets.

The actual trade was Heise and backup outfielder Jim Gosger from the Mets to the Giants for Sadecki and backup outfielder Dave Marshall. Our Mets already have the southpaw Woodie Fryman handling a swingman spot, so have no need for Sadecki. But our Phillies will take him, allowing the Giants to take Heise, and in return our Mets will get the line-drive-hitting veteran infielder Taylor.

Dec., 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies traded second baseman Cookie Rojas to the Kansas City Royals for outfielder-third baseman Fred Rico.

The Royals would actually trade the minor league journeyman Rico for the veteran Rojas in June of 1970. Our Phillies, still seeking to get younger, will make the deal now.

March, 1970: The Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielder Ron Swoboda to the Montreal Expos for outfielder Don Hahn.

In reality, Swoboda and Hahn would be swapped a year later. But our Phillies are dissatisfied with the stuck-in-a-rut Swoboda, and will take the light-hitting defensive specialist Hahn instead at this point.

March, 1970: The Philadelphia Phillies sold pitcher Jim Shellenback to the Washington Senators.

April, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals returned infielder Milt Ramirez (earlier draft pick) to the Baltimore Orioles.

End-of-spring-training roster pruning.

The 1970 season: Actual deals we will make

June 6, 1970: The Philadelphia Phillies signed catcher Doc Edwards as a free agent.

Like the actual Phils, we’ll activate this 33-year-old coach in response to the broken hand suffered by Tim McCarver.

Aug. 14, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased pitcher Frank Bertaina from the Baltimore Orioles.

Picking up a spare lefty arm for the stretch run.

Sep. 28, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals selected pitcher Fred Norman off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

And while this spare-arm pickup is too late for the stretch run, he’s a knockabout journeyman whose stuff is too intriguing to ignore.

The 1970 season: Actual deals we will not make

May 19, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Jerry Johnson to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Frank Linzy.

Our Cardinals don’t have Johnson. Our Phillies do, but aren’t interested in Linzy.

June 13, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher George Culver to the Houston Astros for outfielder outfielder-first baseman Jim Beauchamp and infielder-outfielder Leon McFadden.

Culver’s nothing special, but we see more need for him than these spare parts.

June 22, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals selected pitcher Chuck Hartenstein off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Our Cards have better bullpen options.

July 1, 1970: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Ted Abernathy to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Chris Zachary.

Our Cardinals don’t have Abernathy. Our Mets do (see below), but don’t see the purpose in dumping him.

The 1970 season: Deals we will invoke

May 29, 1970: In a three-club deal, the St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Phil Gagliano to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs sent pitcher Ted Abernathy to the New York Mets, and the Mets sent infielder Bobby Pfeil and cash to the Cardinals.

Actually on this date, the Cubs mystifyingly traded Abernathy to St. Louis for Gagliano. Our Cards don’t have a bullpen spot for the veteran submariner, but our Mets do. So we’ll let the Cubs have Gagliano, and our Cards will replace him with Pfeil.

1970 season results

Phillies

Our rebuilding project remains in high gear. We’re introducing rookies at shortstop (Larry Bowa) and second base (Denny Doyle), and shifting sophomore Don Money from short to third.

Unable to plug Curt Flood into center field, we’ll keep sophomore Larry Hisle there instead of shifting him to right, and give the right field opportunity to yet another rookie (Joe Lis).

And, three rookie right-handers are making our pitching staff: Bob Johnson, Steve Renko, and Barry Lersch.

1970 Philadelphia Phillies     Won 77    Lost 84    Finished 5th

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  D. Johnson     31  137 436  52 112  22   2  21  71  57  99 .257 .340 .461 .801  116
  2B  D. Doyle*      26  112 413  38  86  10   7   2  21  33  64 .208 .265 .281 .546   49
  SS  L. Bowa#       24  138 492  45 123  15   5   0  31  19  43 .250 .274 .301 .574   56
  3B  D. Money       23  120 447  66 132  25   4  14  66  43  68 .295 .359 .463 .822  122
RF-LF J. Lis         23  146 472  64 113  18   4  23  70  65 104 .239 .333 .441 .773  109
  CF  R. Gaspar#     24  118 321  43  85   9   1   1  19  43  23 .265 .352 .308 .661   82
  LF  J. Briggs*     26  110 341  43  92  15   7   9  47  39  65 .270 .339 .434 .773  109
  C   T. McCarver*   28   44 164  16  47  11   1   4  14  14  10 .287 .344 .439 .783  112

OF-1B J. Hague*      26  125 361  41  94  13   3  11  49  52  68 .260 .349 .404 .754  105
2B-SS T. Harmon      26  126 354  44  84   8   6   1  21  35  57 .237 .307 .302 .609   66
  OF  L. Hisle       23  101 272  36  57  17   3   7  30  36  94 .210 .302 .371 .673   82
3B-2B K. Collins*    23   98 266  28  76  10   0  10  34  14  56 .286 .325 .436 .761  105
  C   M. Compton     25   61 154  11  25   1   1   2  13  19  41 .162 .261 .221 .482   33
OF-3B F. Rico        25   66 147  13  33   5   1   2  14  17  31 .224 .301 .313 .614   67
  C   D. Edwards     33   51 124   9  32   2   0   1  10   7  16 .258 .301 .298 .600   64
  C   D. Bates*      30   40 108   6  20   4   1   1   6  12  30 .185 .296 .269 .565   55
  OF  S. Reid*       23   25  49   5   6   1   0   0   1  11  22 .122 .283 .143 .426   20
  UT  J. Hutto       22   19  31   2   6   1   0   1   4   2   7 .194 .235 .323 .558   50
  OF  R. Stone*      27    6  16   2   4   1   0   0   2   2   2 .250 .333 .313 .646   77

      Others                  60   6  13   1   0   0   4   8  12 .217 .304 .233 .538   49

      Pitchers               378  26  55   8   1   3  28  21 130 .146 .176 .194 .369    0

      Total                5406 596 1295 197 47 113 555 549 1042 .240 .308 .356 .664   80

      * Bats left
      # Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      R. Wise        24   35  34   5  13  14   0 220 253 115 102   15   65  113 4.17   96
      B. Johnson     27   40  26  10   9  13   3 214 193  89  82   18   83  211 3.45  117
      C. Short*      32   36  34   7   9  16   1 199 211 100  95   13   66  133 4.30   94
      R. Sadecki*    29   28  19   4   7   5   0 139 135  65  60   17   54   89 3.88  103
      S. Renko       25   22  14   3   7   5   1 129 110  62  57   14   60   83 3.98  101
      G. Jackson*    27   24  15   1   4  10   0 109 123  66  62   12   43   75 5.12   79

      D. Giusti      30   66   1   0   8   4  20 103 103  38  36    7   37   82 3.15  128
      B. Lersch      25   42  11   3   6   3   3 138 119  52  50   17   47   92 3.26  123
      J. Johnson     26   40   1   0   5   5   3  77  69  41  35    6   44   49 4.09   98
      D. Frisella    24   33   4   1   8   4   1  86  71  31  31    6   45   66 3.24  124

      Others                   2   0   1   5   0  47  56  32  31    7   32   37 5.94   68

      Total                  161  34  77  84 32 1461 1443 691 641 132  576 1030 3.95  102

      * Throws left

Unsurprisingly, everything doesn’t go well. The primary disappointments are flops by Hisle and pitcher Grant Jackson. McCarver’s injury makes the catching a scramble, and while Bowa and Doyle prove just fine defensively, their hitting leaves quite a bit to be desired.

But overall the movement is in the right direction. Money blossoms with the bat, and Lis is good as well. Useful offensive contributions come from veteran Deron Johnson, who wins the first base job, and several younger bats, including outfielders Johnny Briggs and Joe Hague, and utility infielder Kevin Collins.

And even more good news emerges on the mound. Bob Johnson, Lersch, and young Danny Frisella are all excellent, as is veteran Dave Giusti, rejuvenating his career as a relief ace. Our improvement over 1969 is by 13.5 games.

Cardinals

The Allen trade is, of course, a big deal (figuratively as well as literally) as we seek to re-energize our run production, to ignite an offense to approach the standard set by our stalwart pitching staff. The master plan in the offseason is to place Allen in left field, shifting Lou Brock over to right, with Bobby Tolan assuming Flood’s spot in center field. Minor league sensation Ted Simmons will replace McCarver at catcher.

But well before Opening Day, those plans are foiled. Simmons is called up for an extended tour of National Guard duty, and third baseman Mike Shannon is stricken with kidney disease. Neither will be available until mid-May at the earliest.

Thus we’re forced to improvise. Fortunately our roster provides defensive adaptability. Brock goes back to left field, and we’ll open with a platoon of rookie Leron Lee and journeyman Byron Browne in right. Allen will take over at third base to open the season, and Joe Torre will move back from first base to handle the catching until Simmons is available. Veteran Vic Davalillo can hold the fort at first base until we think of something better.

1970 St. Louis Cardinals     Won 80    Lost 82    Finished 4th

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
1B-3B R. Allen       28  122 459  88 128  17   5  34 101  71 118 .279 .377 .560 .937  146
  2B  J. Javier      33  139 513  52 129  16   3   2  44  24  70 .251 .279 .306 .586   56
SS-3B S. Huntz#      24  121 352  44  81  10   1  10  46  66  68 .230 .347 .349 .696   86
  3B  M. Shannon     30   55 174  18  37   9   2   0  22  16  20 .213 .275 .287 .562   50
  RF  L. Lee*        22  121 264  28  60  13   1   6  25  24  66 .227 .289 .352 .641   70
  CF  B. Tolan*      24  152 589 107 186  34   7  15  80  62  91 .316 .379 .474 .853  126
  LF  L. Brock*      31  155 664 114 202  29   5  13  57  60  99 .304 .361 .422 .782  108
 C-3B J. Torre       29  158 606  88 198  26   9  21  98  68  88 .327 .399 .503 .902  139

1B-OF V. Davalillo*  33  116 364  42 111  25   5   3  52  25  38 .305 .345 .426 .771  104
  OF  B. Browne      27  104 270  29  70  17   2  10  42  32  73 .259 .333 .448 .781  106
  C   T. Simmons#    20   76 240  25  58   7   2   3  21  31  31 .242 .332 .325 .657   76
  SS  D. Maxvill     31  101 200  18  39   3   1   0  14  24  29 .195 .272 .220 .492   33
  IF  J. DaVanon     24   54 120  10  21   4   1   1   8  13  25 .175 .261 .250 .511   37
 P-PH B. Gibson      34   40 109  14  33   3   1   2  19   8  25 .303 .331 .404 .734   95
  IF  J. Driscoll*   26   43  98   6  23   1   0   2   6   5  23 .235 .280 .306 .586   56
  UT  B. Pfeil       26   48  89   8  20   3   1   1   6   5   8 .225 .265 .315 .580   54
  C   M. Ryan        28   23  45   5   8   2   0   1   4   4   9 .178 .240 .289 .529   40
  1B  J. Campbell*   27   18  36   3   8   1   0   1   3   2   8 .222 .282 .333 .615   63
  IF  P. Gagliano    28   18  32   0   6   0   0   0   2   1   3 .188 .212 .188 .400    7
  C   D. Ricketts#   34   14  11   0   2   0   0   0   0   1   3 .182 .250 .182 .432   17
  C   J. Olerud      26    7  10   1   2   0   0   0   1   1   2 .200 .273 .200 .473   28

      Others                 118  16  34   3   0   0  10   7  13 .288 .328 .314 .642   72

      Pitchers               312  26  62   9   4   0  25  11 108 .199 .222 .252 .473   26

      Total                5675 742 1518 232 50 125 686 561 1018 .267 .331 .392 .723   92

      * Bats left
      # Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      B. Gibson      34   34  34  23  23   7   0 294 262 111 102   13   88  274 3.12  133
      S. Carlton*    25   34  33  13  10  19   0 254 239 123 105   25  109  193 3.72  111
      M. Torrez      23   30  28   5   8  10   0 179 168  96  84   12  103  100 4.22   98
      C. Taylor      28   34  17   2   5   7   1 136 134  59  55   10   29   59 3.64  114
      G. Culver      26   27  14   2   4   6   0 110 125  60  57    9   45   49 4.66   89
      N. Briles      26   30  19   1   6   7   0 107 129  84  74   14   36   59 6.22   67
      F. Bertaina*   26    8   5   0   1   2   0  31  36  16  11    1   15   14 3.19  130

      W. Granger     26   67   0   0   6   5  15  85  79  31  25    5   27   38 2.65  156
      J. Hoerner*    33   44   0   0   9   5   6  58  56  20  18    5   19   40 2.79  148
      T. Hilgendorf* 28   38   6   1   2   8   0  82  83  41  38   10   30   54 4.17   99
      P. Mikkelsen   30   33   0   0   4   2   1  62  52  22  21    5   20   45 3.05  136
      S. Campisi     27   25   0   0   1   1   0  33  35  13  11    1   25   17 3.00  138

      Others                   6   1   1   3   0  45  48  27  25    3   24   27 5.00   83

      Total                  162  48  80  82 23 1476 1446 703 626 113  570  969 3.82  108

      * Throws left

Problems mount. Allen’s throwing ability, always an issue, proves to be unacceptably bad. We eagerly shift him to first base when Shannon returns. Alas, Shannon is greatly weakened by his illness; we give him several trials, but he just can’t get it done. In mid-August, Moon Man is forced to retire, his playing career suddenly over just a month past his 31st birthday.

To fill the third base hole, we introduce the 29-year-old Torre to the position in mid-season (when Simmons arrives behind the plate). Torre has undergone a dramatic weight loss program over the off-season, and (authentically) in the best condition of his career, he admirably rises to the third base challenge.

But even this alignment can’t last long, as Allen’s season is effectively ended in mid-August by a leg injury sustained while stealing a base. Down the stretch, it’s again the makeshift assignment of the five-foot-seven, singles-hitting Davalillo at first base.

On top of all this, starting pitcher Nelson Briles suffers a severe hamstring pull in April, and is never able get untracked. Fellow starter Steve Carlton endures a ghastly mid-summer slump.

And on top of all that, we underperform Pythag by five wins.

All in all, it’s just one of those years. Our core of genuine stars can’t prevent a sag all the way down to 80-82.

Mets

Fresh off our “miracle” season, we’re introducing very little in the way of change. Tony Taylor has been imported to beef up the infield depth, and we’ve got a couple of fresh arms in the bullpen. That’s about it.

1970 New York Mets     Won 84    Lost 78    Finished 3rd

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  A. Shamsky*    28  122 403  48 118  19   2  11  60  49  33 .293 .371 .432 .803  115
  2B  K. Boswell*    24  105 351  32  89  13   2   5  44  41  32 .254 .328 .345 .673   81
  SS  B. Harrelson#  26  157 564  72 137  18   8   1  42  95  74 .243 .345 .309 .653   77
3B-OF A. Otis        23  143 496  66 143  31   8   8  57  55  56 .288 .355 .431 .786  110
  RF  J. Callison*   31  137 429  52 109  21   2  15  72  52  56 .254 .337 .417 .755  102
  CF  T. Agee        27  153 636 107 182  30   7  24  75  55 156 .286 .343 .469 .812  116
LF-1B C. Jones       27  134 506  71 140  25   8  10  74  57  87 .277 .352 .417 .769  106
  C   J. Grote       27  126 415  38 106  14   1   2  34  36  39 .255 .309 .308 .617   66

2-3-1 T. Taylor      34  108 329  49 100  20   7   8  51  38  50 .304 .375 .480 .855  128
  IF  W. Garrett*    22   98 257  52  64  12   3   8  32  56  43 .249 .382 .412 .794  113
  C   D. Dyer        24   59 148   8  31   1   0   2  12  21  32 .209 .306 .257 .563   53
  1B  G. Goossen     24   61 142  13  35   6   0   5  18  18  36 .246 .333 .394 .728   95
RF-LF K. Singleton#  23   58 132  15  35   5   0   3  17  20  32 .265 .359 .371 .730   97
2B-SS A. Weis#       32   68  97  16  19   5   1   1   9   6  17 .196 .248 .299 .547   46
1B-OF M. Jorgensen*  21   76  87  15  17   3   1   3   4  10  23 .195 .276 .356 .632   68
  UT  R. Joseph      30   36  60   4  14   1   0   2   5   3  14 .233 .270 .350 .620   65
  2B  T. Martinez    22   12  16   0   1   0   0   0   0   0   3 .063 .063 .063 .125  -66

      Others                  15   0   5   0   1   0   1   0   2 .333 .333 .467 .800  112

      Pitchers               411  29  56   8   1   1  26  29 187 .136 .178 .168 .346   -7

      Total                5494 687 1401 232  52 109 633 641 972 .255 .330 .376 .705   89

      * Bats left
      # Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      T. Seaver      25   37  36  19  18  12   0 291 230 103  91   21   83  283 2.81  143
      J. Koosman*    27   30  29   5  12   7   0 212 189  87  74   22   71  118 3.14  128
      G. Gentry      23   32  29   5   9   9   0 188 155  88  77   19   86  134 3.69  109
      J. McAndrew    26   32  27   9  10  14   1 184 166  77  73   18   38  111 3.57  113
      N. Ryan        23   27  19   5   7  11   1 132  86  59  50   10   97  125 3.41  118
      W. Fryman*     30   27  20   4   8   6   0 128 121  60  58   12   41   97 4.08   99

      T. McGraw*     25   57   0   0   4   6   8  91  77  40  33    6   49   81 3.26  123
      R. Taylor      32   57   0   0   5   4  10  66  65  31  29    5   16   28 3.95  102
      T. Abernathy   37   47   0   0   7   3  10  74  61  28  24    3   50   58 2.92  138
      F. Beene       27   31   2   0   2   2   0  54  58  26  22    6   20   31 3.67  110
      B. Wilson      27    9   0   0   0   0   0  15  14   9   8    2    8   10 4.80   84

      Others                   0   0   2   4   2  22  26  11  10    3   10   12 4.09   98

      Total                  162  47  84  78 32 1457 1248 619 549 127  569 1088 3.39  119

      * Throws left

And the stand-pat roster delivers just about zero surprises. Seaver continues to sparkle at the head of an extraordinarily deep and capable staff.

Cleon Jones has a bit of an off-year, and the offense, without a particular central bat to rally around, has its struggles. The good news is the blossoming of 23-year-old sophomore third baseman Amos Otis.

But as blessed as the ’69 Mets were by Pythagorean fortune, this time around the breaks go the other way. We come in at five wins under our projection, and fail to repeat as champions despite a very winnable division. It’s a frustrating year.

Next time

It’s possible that several key talents, including one by the name of Allen, may be rumored to be on the trading block.

          Phillies:  Actual         Cardinals:  Actual        Mets:  Actual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    63   99  5    645  745    87   75  4    595  540   100   62  1    632  541
 1970    73   88  5    594  730    76   86  4    744  747    83   79  3    695  630

          Phillies:  Virtual        Cardinals:  Virtual       Mets:  Virtual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    64   98  5    611  691    98   64  2    659  528   101   61  1    638  550
 1970    77   84  5    596  691    80   82  4    742  703    84   78  3    687  619
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Comments

  1. JohnA said...

    The virtual Mets are in trouble.  The actual Shamsky and Callison hit the skids after 1970.  The ‘71 Ed Kranepool was pretty good.  They might regret that move.

  2. JohnA said...

    It helps that they kept Amos Otis.  Your blurb on that trade fascinates me.  Did they really trade him because he had a bad attitude, only to get somebody else with a bad attitude?  Amos Otis went on to get 1,993 hits after the Mets traded him, and they let Joe Foy go in the rule 5 draft after one year.

  3. Steve Treder said...

    “Did they really trade him because he had a bad attitude, only to get somebody else with a bad attitude?”

    I don’t know that they traded Otis only because Hodges wasn’t high on him.  But it’s certainly the case that the Mets should have thought carefully about why it had been that the Red Sox had left Foy unprotected in the expansion draft even though he was a 25-year-old established regular third baseman and they had no obvious replacement, and why it had been that the Royals were shopping Foy around a year later even though he’d been their best all-around offensive player.

  4. John C said...

    Shamsky and Callison are about to get old, but Amos Otis is going to get even better, and they should get a breakout season from one of their young pitchers in ‘72…assuming they know better than to trade him.

  5. Joseph Hudgions said...

    As always Steve a good read. I don’t know much about Foy’s attitude per se, but it has been well documented that he had a serious drug abuse problem. This was only exacerbated by playing in his home town (Foy was from the Bronx). I remember reading that Foy showed up for a game in Shea Stadium obviously messed up, after apparently partying all night with his “friends”. Hodges put Foy in the starting lineup, but had to remove him quickly after the first screaming liner went past Foy and he didn’t even react.

  6. JohnA said...

    The Mets allways had trouble at third.  Their two worst trades of this era (and all time) were to fill the spot.  Both times they ended up going back to Wayne Garrett, who apparantly got no respect.  I assume he was a decent fielder and occasionally his bat wasn’t horrible.

  7. Steve Treder said...

    “Hodges put Foy in the starting lineup, but had to remove him quickly after the first screaming liner went past Foy and he didn’t even react.”

    The version of it I heard was that it wasn’t a screaming liner, it was more like a routine grounder.

  8. Steve Treder said...

    “I read the SABR bio on Joe Foy, and he was the opposite of an attitude problem.  His Red Sox teammates remembered him glowingly.  His downfall, as a previous poster suggested, drugs and alcohol.”

    Well, “attitude problem” is a vague term.  But I would say that a player who shows up to play while high is presenting a distinct problem to management, in any case.

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