Tag: john franco

11th Annual Starlight Night at Citi Field


The Mets will play host to 300 seriously ill children for a night of fun, food, and baseball on June 11th. John Franco and Mookie Wilson will also be on hand. Here’s the press release with all the details:


More Than 300 Seriously ill Children Will Attend the 11th Annual Starlight
Night at Citi Field for a Night of Fun, Food and Baseball on Tuesday, June
11, 2013

WHO: Ernesto Martinez, a nine-year-old boy from Yonkers, New York
battling Acute Leukemia Lymphoma (ALL), will get the opportunity of a
lifetime on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the 11th Annual Starlight Night at
Citi Field. As part of the event, Ernesto will have the coveted chance to
walk onto Citi Field and throw the ceremonial first pitch before the New
York Mets game against the St. Louis Cardinals

The event will also include more than 300 seriously
ill children who spend a significant portion of their
lives in hospitals and clinics, as well as Mr. Met and
New York Mets greats John Franco and Mookie Wilson.

More than 300 seriously ill children who spend a significant portion of
their lives in hospitals and clinics will attend the event and enjoy a
night of fun, food and baseball at Citi Field, courtesy of the Mets and
ARAMARK. The event will include face painters and clowns and the children
will receive a special visit from Mr. Met, along with New York Mets greats
John Franco and Mookie Wilson.

WHAT: The event brings seriously ill children and their families out
for a night of fun, food and baseball at Citi Field, courtesy of the Mets
and ARAMARK. It includes face painters and clowns along with appearances
by several of the New York Mets’ wives.

The event will support the mission of the
Starlight Children’s Foundation, which brightens
the lives of seriously ill children and their
families through entertainment, education and
family activities.


WHERE: Citi Field, Flushing, NY
WHEN: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Media Call Time: 6:00 p.m.
First pitch: 6:30 p.m.


John Franco is a Mets Hall-of-Famer

Franco as Team Captain

Today, the Mets announced that John Franco will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame this season.

The long-time Mets closer compiled 424 saves in his career, good for fourth all-time.  276 of those came as a New York Met.  Unlike the man for whom he was traded, Randy Myers, Franco didn’t fit the power-pitcher mold.  He instead relied on a changeup that moved away from a right-handed hitter, much like a screwball.  Most batters found it too tempting to lay off, especially when they were behind in the count.  Because of this pitch, and his lack of a notable slider or curve, he was often more effective against righties than lefties.

During his career in Queens (which lasted from 1990 to 2004), Franco was generally a solid closer, despite his disturbing penchant for loading the bases before recording the third out of the ninth inning.

In 1999, Franco abdicated the closer’s role to Armando Benitez after a trip to the DL.  From then on, Franco transformed himself into reliable setup man.

The defining Mets moment for the St. John’s graduate came during the 2000 NLDS versus the San Francisco Giants.

In Game 2 in San Francisco, The Mets went into the bottom of the ninth with a 4-1 lead.  However, Benitez allowed 3 runs to blow the save and send the game into extra innings.  The Mets answered, scoring a run in the top of the tenth to take a 5-4 lead.

After allowing a leadoff single, manager Bobby Valentine brought Franco in to relieve Benitez.  Two outs later, Barry Bonds stepped to the plate with a chance to win the game with a long ball.  Franco and Bonds battled, and the count reached 3-and-2.  On the payoff pitch, Franco grazed the inside corner with a changeup to strike Bonds out, and end the game.  Bonds couldn’t believe it, and the momentum of the series had swung the Mets way.

Now, 12 years later, Franco will attain Mets immortality on June 3.  He wasn’t always perfect, but he was better than you remember.  He was a team leader and a true Met.



Mets Birthdays: The Francos

Happy Birthday John Franco!

Today is the 51st birthday of one of the most beloved Mets, Brooklyn-born John Franco. He wore the Mets uniform for a staggering 14 years. 14 years! During his tenure in Queens, he tallied 48 wins, 56 losses, a nice 3.10 ERA to go along with an impressive 276 saves and All-Star appearances. What made for an impressive career as a closer, was that he lacked the typical closer repertoire. Not a flamethrower, Franco was one of those crafty lefties you hear so much about. Being one of the few screwball pitchers around, hitters were not be able to figure him out. His saves were of the cardiac variety, but Franco got the job done.

However, John Franco provided much more then stats over the years. He eventually became the leader of not only the bullpen but of the entire team. Franco was named team captain in 2001, and served as such thru 2004. As one of the rare players to be embraced by teammates, the media, and fans John Franco will always remain a favorite in Flushing.

As it is a busy day for celebrations today, We should also send a birthday shout out to another Franco, the immortal Julio Franco. Who, shockingly is not on anyone’s roster. Perhaps at 52 he can still contribute? No? As a Met, he pinch ran for Carlos Delgado, becoming the oldest player to do so. He still plays a part in helping out the Mets these days as well, Julio Franco is the manager of the Mets’ Gulf Coast League rookie squad. A fine role model for young Brandon Nimmo to learn from.

Also celebrating birthdays today: Ed Hearn (51), Pat Strange (31), and Prentice Redman (32)


Mets ST Game 11

Luis Castillo

Luis hit a line drive into the outfield to drive in two runs. I swear, it went beyond the infield dirt, in the air. No kidding.

Brandon Knight

Knight is one of those regular joes you have to root for, but unfortunately his stuff is pretty ordinary. He’ll be nice to have waiting in AAA for depth, but let’s hope he isn’t needed for an extended period of time.

Daniel Murphy

Murphy continues to take pitches and “hit ’em where they ain’t”, slapping the ball to the opposite field.

Ryan Church

Church took out O’s shortstop Jolbert Cabrera on a double play in the 3rd. Colbert didn’t like it, and let Church know it, but the bum was standing on second base so not sure what the fuss was about. It was great to see a Mets player purposely make physical contact with an opponent, then tell the guy to kiss off afterward. Haven’t seen much of that since the Bobby V days.

Jon Switzer

Remains unimpressive. However, he has inspired me to begin throwing with my left hand.

Josh Thole

He looks like Daniel Murphy’s prodigy with that open stance and patient approach.

Duaner Sanchez

Duaner’s fastball is still floating in the 83-85-MPH range. If he’s still around there come April, I can see him getting released, then re-signed, as no one else is likely to take a chance on him. His desperation has led to throwing a rinky-dink slider. Sad times for Sanchez. Though, I wonder if his velocity can be regained with a mechanical tweak … it looks to me like his hips are opening before his arm whips around — in other words, his arm is a little “slow” to catch up to his hip explosion. Either he needs to increase his arm speed, or he needs to find a way to retard the opening of his hips, possibly by lengthening his stride.

John Franco

Nice to see Johnny teaching the changeup and sans his guido mustache. He still sounds like a guido, but what can you expect from a kid from Brooklyn?

Koji Uehara

The Japanese import has pretty good stuff. He won’t dominate in the AL East, but he shouldn’t embarrass himself. And for the record, his name is not pronounced “ooey-hara”, as the Mets announcers referred to him; it’s “ooh-way-ha-rah”.

Bobby Kielty

Continues to smoke the ball. He mashed a line-drive double in a pinch-hitting role against George Sherrill in the fourth.

Casey Fossum

Fossum continues to throw at all kinds of speeds from 64 MPH to 91 MPH, yet gets hit like the batters know what’s coming. Hmmm ….. maybe that’s the problem?

Nick Evans

Nick FINALLY turned on one and jerked it way over the left field fence. Yes, it’s nice he can go to the opposite field, but it’ll be even nicer if he can mash the ball over the wall like that more often. This had to be the display of power we’d heard about but hadn’t seen at the big league level.

Rene Rivera

Yes, Rivera also hit a bomb. I’d still rather have Pudge Rodriguez.