New York Mets History

New York Mets didn’t care much for stolen bases in 2000

New York Mets' outfielder Derek Bell (R) is congratulated by Jay Payton (L) after Bell scored on a double by Robin Ventura against the Chicago Cubs in the top of the fifth inning 13 June 2000 in Chicago. AFP PHOTO/Tannen MAURY (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo by TANNEN MAURY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TANNEN MAURY/AFP via Getty Images)
New York Mets' outfielder Derek Bell (R) is congratulated by Jay Payton (L) after Bell scored on a double by Robin Ventura against the Chicago Cubs in the top of the fifth inning 13 June 2000 in Chicago. AFP PHOTO/Tannen MAURY (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo by TANNEN MAURY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TANNEN MAURY/AFP via Getty Images) /
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The 2000 New York Mets didn’t have pennant-winning stolen base abilities.

Stolen bases haven’t been something the New York Mets have cared much about in recent seasons. Twenty years ago when they built up a World Series team, it was hardly a thought.

The 66 stolen bases on the year for the team put them in 27th place. Only the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, and Oakland Athletics stole fewer.

This Mets squad didn’t have any true stolen base threat. If you had to guess who led the team in this category, I’m not sure you would ever get it right.

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To save you some research, I’ll let you know it was a tie between Derek Bell and Lenny Harris. Both of these veterans successfully swiped eight bags.

I’m not sure which player is more surprising to see on the list. Bell was an aging outfielder at the time never actually known for his speed. However, if we go back and look at his career, we do see he had double-digits every year from 1993-1999. Early on in his career, he routinely stole 20+.

Harris is more surprising for another reason. The man didn’t even join the Mets until June.

And as a part-time player when he did arrive, he still managed to catch up to everyone else.

The other 50 stolen bases were spread out. Melvin Mora would have led the team if not for getting traded mid-year for Mike Bordick. He was at seven at the time of the deal.

Maybe most surprising of all, Mike Piazza was one of the “better” stolen base threats this year. The Hall of Fame catcher stole four bags. Amazingly, he never stole another in his career after the 2000 season. With 17 stolen bases for his entire 16-year career, the bases he stole in 2000 accounted for nearly a quarter of them.

Rickey Henderson may have also challenged for the team lead if not for getting released after 31 games played. The all-time leader in steals was 41, but still running plenty when he got his chances.

Obviously, they weren’t always successful in their thievery. Jay Payton led the team with 11 caught stealing. With only five successful attempts, the kid had a lot to learn about being a burglar on the bases.

Next. Timo Perez's debut season with the 2000 Mets

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The 2000 Mets didn’t need speed to win games. With their lineup of guys who could pop home runs and steady starting rotation leading the way, this turn-of-the-century club was able to go far.

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