In the baseball criminal justice system, the results of transactions are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The fans, who investigate crime, and the MLB organizations who make those transactions. These are their stories. These are the crimes committed by the New York Mets.
The Mets committed arson on June 15, 1977 when they burned down the entire franchise
When a play or a transaction has a name, you know it was either really good or really bad. Our first crime, arson, took place on June 15, 1977.
Headed by Mets chairman M. Donald Grant and a lengthy contract dispute with star pitcher Tom Seaver, the franchise took a turn for the worse at that year’s trade deadline. Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for four players, effectively changing the club from hopeful contenders to a franchise in a downward spiral. Seaver was the heart and soul of the Mets for a decade. A true superstar whose legacy remains today, it was the precursor to many years of losing.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Mets also traded slugger Dave Kingman and didn’t get much in return for the soon-to-be free agent.
The Mets committed criminal negligence against Tom Seaver in 1984
Another crime involving Seaver, this one was committed by Frank Cashen who assumed wrong. After returning to the Mets in a trade the season prior, the team was about to lose him all over again in a separate offense.
The 1984 free agent compensation draft wasn’t meant for aging hurlers with a high salary to swap teams. The Chicago White Sox had other ideas. Cashen, believing no one would take Seaver away from them, didn’t protect the greatest player in franchise history. The White Sox committed thievery against New York and the relationship between Tom Terrific and the orange and blue was strained yet again.
The Mets committed grand theft when they acquired Gary Carter from the Expos
Not all crimes committed by this franchise resulted in disappointing the fans. Only months after their crime of criminal negligence, the franchise turned to grand theft. They did so by trading four players to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Gary Carter.
The Mets have actually committed grand theft a few times. Later on, you could argue they did it in the Mike Piazza deal with the Florida Marlins. There’s a case to say the same was done when the Mets acquired Al Leiter from those same Marlins. Let’s not forget about Carlos Delgado. What about Paul Lo Duca?
What makes the Carter deal stand out more is where the Mets went after the crime. In his second season with the team, Carter helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series. There’s no asterisk on that championship either. In baseball, grand theft in trades is not frowned upon.
The Mets committed fraud when they built the 1993 team
I don’t want to call a single player a fraud. Collectively, there was no bigger one than the 1993 team.
Known as “The Worst Team Money Could Buy,” they were a high-priced 59-103 squad with few strengths. Holdovers from the glory days of the 1980s were fading quickly. The young players were either not ready yet or underperforming.
Oddly enough, the three big players they brought in during recent offseasons actually all had good years. Eddie Murray, Bobby Bonilla, and Bret Saberhagen (although injured for much of it) posted pretty good numbers. Unfortunately, depth was an issue and the club wasn’t able to overcome shortcomings—particularly with the pitching staff.
When the Mets drafted Jacob deGrom they were guilty of concealing a dangerous weapon
Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom joined the ranks of the major leagues when he was drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Nobody thought such a gem was hiding so deep in the draft.
deGrom has truly developed into one of the most dangerous weapons in Mets history. He was loaded, too, almost from the start with a Rookie of the Year victory in 2014 and Cy Young consideration by his sophomore season.
But just like grand theft, baseball crimes like this are thought of positively. Anytime you can conceal a weapon like deGrom and turn a revolver into a Gatling gun is a good thing.