First base- Ed KranepoolSecond base- Ken Boswell/Al WeisShortstop - Bud HarrelsonThird base - Ed CharlesC - Jerry Grote
LF- Cleon JonesCF- Tommie AgeeRF- Ron Swoboda/Art Shamsky
SP Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Don Cardwell, Jim McAndrewRP Ron Taylor, Cal Koonce
First base Ed Kranepool/ Don Clendenon (mid-season addition)Second base Ken Boswell/Al WeisShortstop Bud HarrelsonThird base Ed Charles/Wayne GarrettC Jerry Grote
Lf Cleon JonesCF Tommie AgeeRF Ron Swoboda/Art Shamsky
SP Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry, Don CardwellRP Ron Taylor, Tug Mcgraw, Cal Koonce
So, the difference between the teams was rather minimal, and mostly via the farm system. Some players got better, momentum developed, and they all played hard.
A big midseason acquisition for the team was Donn Clendenon. Tommy Agee was much improved in 1969. Cleon Jones hit .340. Those are three offensive key points. Secondly, the team's pitching was excellent in 1968. The issue was scoring runs. They lost ALOT of one run games in 1968. Though it was considered a miracle they won the World Series, the fact they were a markedly better team wasn't THAT much of a surprise. Their team BA rose from .228 in 1968 (last in the NL) to .242 (7th in the NL) the following year. Still not very good, but their pitching staff ranked second in 1969 so it was more than enough.
If one is to compare the 2012 Mets and next year's team, firstly and most importantly, we can't yet because we don't know who the Mets will acquire or elevate from their minor league system. However, what we do know is the 2012 team wasn't dominant in either pitching (4.09 ERA, 11th) or hitting (.249,10th). So, sure, teams have gone from worst to first, they've gone from second division to Cinderella in one year's time. But Alderson is going to need to fill in several holes first before I'll believe a postseason is in next season's cards.
where is that Bill James thing on the 69 Mets?? would love to read it.
Bill James Baseball Abstract is a huge, huge book. It's only one small section that deals with teams that really turned it around in one year. The '69 Mets, '67 Red Sox, '61 Reds. Unless you have an interest in James, I don't think it would be worth the money, but maybe the library has it? Perhaps later I will have some time and can briefly tell you what James has to say about the Mets. Anyway, here is a link..
James apparently has written many books, is there one smaller version that is worthwhile, perhaps the new 2013 version, guess it depends...
or maybe the library is a good idea.
After having read Moneyball years ago, I'm intrigued now.
Whatever happened to the hall of fame sounds great, yes, thanks!!!
Is there a book--Whatever happened to baseball?
I love the game, but so much of it has been destroyed since free agency, some would argue free agency made the game better, I'd say in some way yes, in many ways no...
That's a whole different thing.
thanks for the referrals...
Going into '69, as a 16 year old fan, I was feeling really good about the team's chances for a +.500 season. With Seaver and Koosman, we already had two aces, but the most exciting pitcher to watch was Nolan Ryan. Nolan wasn't really a big factor in '69 due to military commitments, but he added to the aura of the staff. Gentry and Cardwell actually carried the back half of the staff very well. I think Cardwell pitched back to back shutouts in September. Anyway, when you have basically a four man rotation (fifth for double headers) with guys going deep (51 complete games), talent has impact. These days, the value of good starting pitchers is diluted, first by the five man rotation (no going back, I'm afraid), but mostly due to the pitch count.
I think the team felt good about itself for the same reason, and was probably hoping for something similar to what I was. What we didn't count on though was that the Cardinals would fade so badly, leaving only the Cubs to deal with.
1969 may have been one of those year after a disappointing World Series loss syndromes for the Cardinals. Their pitching staff was still tops (just ahead of the Mets). Before checking the Baseball Almanac site just now, I had forgotten a young Mike Torrez was on that staff (along with Gibson, Briles and Carlton). At any rate, despite those guys, they never really got it going for too long.
It's true, pitching philosphies have certainly changed in the past 45 years. I still think pitching wins. And when you have a staff like the Giants have, you have a very dangerous postseason club. Unfortunately, as expansion went from the ten team league to the 16 team league, all talent has been diluted. There are too many players in the majors who should never have made it out of the minor leagues.