Retired Number Is Latest Mets Head-Scratcher

The Mets have a habit of making some really odd decisions — naming an agent as their general manager, refusing to create a statue for Tom Seaver until after he had retired from public life due to dementia, trading for Robinson Canó, mistakenly listing two former players as dead even though they were very much alive — and they made another one yesterday, as they announced that former pitcher Jerry Koosman’s No. 36 will be retired at some point next season.

First, some quick background: Despite having existed for nearly 60 years, the Mets have retired only two players’ numbers: Seaver’s No. 41 and Mike Piazza’s No. 31. (They’ve also retired two managers’ numbers: Casey Stengel’s No. 37 and Gil Hodges’s No. 14.) Part of this is because the franchise has been fairly strict about retired numbers — something I generally approve of — and part of it is that most of the seemingly obvious candidates are problematic in one way or another. For example:

• Keith Hernandez: Played only six and a half seasons with the Mets, the last two of which were total duds. … Had his best years, including an MVP award, with the Cardinals.

• Gary Carter: Only five seasons with the Mets, two of which were duds. … Had his best years with the Expos. … Repeatedly behaved like a jerk while lobbying for the Mets’ managing gig in 2008.

• Dwight Gooden: Constant drug issues that continue to this day.

• Darryl Strawberry: Lots of drugs and legal problems, although I hear he’s turned things around lately.

• Rusty Staub: Had his best years for other teams. … Spent his final three years with the Mets almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter. … Wore two different numbers with the Mets, so which one would you retire?

• John Franco: Wore two different numbers with the Mets, one of which has already been retired for Piazza.

• Tug McGraw: Wore the other number that Franco wore, so you’d need to retire that number for both of them (which isn’t a bad idea, actually).

And so on. It’s been widely assumed that David Wright’s No. 5 would be the next one to be retired, and that would have been fine and dandy with me — good player, spent his entire career for the Mets, fan favorite. But instead they’ve chosen to go with Koosman.

Now, I grew up watching and rooting for Jerry Koosman. I liked that he was a lefty, just like me, I liked that he was sort of the Hydrox to Seaver’s Oreo, I tried to imitate his pitching motion while standing in front of a full-length mirror, the whole bit. He’s already a member of the Mets Hall of Fame, as he should be. But it’s hard to overstate what an odd choice the Mets have made here. Here’s why:

1. Jerry Koosman’s last year in the big leagues was 1985, his last year with the Mets was 1978, and his last good year with the Mets was 1976. In other words, no Mets fan younger than 40 years old ever saw him pitch, and no fan younger than 50 is likely to have any fond memories of him in a Mets uniform. He hasn’t been particularly visible as a Mets alum, either (which I don’t mean as a criticism, just as an observation). If you wanted to retire his number, the time to do it was 20 or 25 years ago. Doing it now seems like an odd way to energize the fan base, since Koosman means nothing to today’s Mets fan and even less to tomorrow’s Mets fan. He does mean a lot to yesterday’s Mets fan, but that’s a strange approach to take for the third retired player number in team history.

2. Jerry Koosman went to prison for tax evasion in 2009. And it wasn’t just that he got paid in under-the-table cash for some autograph sessions at card shows or something like that — he was one of those tax denier crackpots who’ve done “research” to “prove” that the income tax is unconstitutional, so he just stopped filing tax returns for a few years because he decided he didn’t have to. Granted, he took responsibility for his crimes and paid his debt to society, literally and figuratively — good for him. But again, this seems like an odd choice for the third retired player number in team history. I can think of only one other MLB player who did prison time for felony tax evasion and then had his number retired: Pete Rose. (Are there any other examples I’m overlooking? And before you say Duke Snider or Willie McCovey, they pleaded guilty to tax evasion but got probation and a fine, not prison time. Also, their numbers were retired before their tax crimes.)

3. No. 36 has been worn for the past two seasons by Mets manager Mickey Callaway. He switched to No. 26 for last night’s game in deference to Koosman, and will continue to wear that number for the remaining five games of the season, all of which seems awkward. I’m not a Callaway fan, but couldn’t the Mets have waited until after the season to make the Koosman announcement? Callaway is widely considered to be on the hot seat and iffy at best to return next season, so why not wait until he’s out the door instead of making him change numbers while playing out the string? Seems like a shabby (and thus very Metsian) way of handling things.

Okay, I know some of you get itchy when I talk too much about the Mets, so I’ll stop here. But seriously, this is the latest chapter in the Mets’ long history of strange decision-making.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Best goggles ever: You know how Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer has one blue eye and one brown eye? After the Nats clinched a Wild Card spot last night, he had goggles to match! That’s pretty great.

(My thanks to John Muir and William Yurasko for this one.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

A different perspective on throwbacks: The Bears will be wearing their 1936 throwbacks this Sunday. In advance of that, team Chairman George McCaskey and the players on the team’s Social Justice Committee issued a video last night about how black players were shamefully excluded from the NFL back in 1936, which means this Sunday will mark the first time black players have had the opportunity to wear this uniform. It’s worth watching:

Most of us love throwbacks (myself probably as much as anyone). But this is the first time I’m aware of that a team has acknowledged that some throwbacks come from very problematic times and contexts. It’s a good reality check, and a welcome corrective for the temptation to view the past through the lens of romantic nostalgia. It will be interesting to see if other teams start doing this.

One gripe: Everyone in the video repeatedly refers to the throwback “jersey,” instead of the uniform. Sigh.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Premier League Uni Roundup — Week 6 (Sept. 20–22)

[Editor’s Note: We’ve running the Premier League Roundup for several weeks now, and I’m curious to know what you think of it. If you’re a soccer fan, please feel free to leave feedback in today’s comments. Thanks. — PL]

By Josh Hinton

Southampton (red/white) 1-2 Bournemouth (navy)

I was watching this game when it hit me that Bourmeouth (above) and West Ham both (essentially) have the same change kit. Made by Umbro, they both feature a navy design, navy/white club badge, and pink accents. In any case, this was not a bad-looking matchup to get the weekend started. 6.5/10

———

Leicester (blue) 2-1 Tottenham (white)

This isn’t quite on the same level as the lovely 2017/18 Spurs/Leicester kit matchups, but it’s close, and very classy. 8.5/10

———

Everton (blue) 0-2 Sheffield United (white)

Not a huge fan of that pattern on the chest of all the Umbro goalkeeper kits and this blue Everton home shirt. Sheffield United break out their Tiro 19 teamwear template away kit, pairing it with black shorts in order to avoid a kit clash. This is the third set of socks the Blades have worn with this away kit (they previously wore red at Chelsea and white in non-clashing matches). 3.5/10

———

Burnley (claret) 2-0 Norwich (yellow/green)

Absolute beauty of a matchup. Too bad NBC Sports relegated (pun absolutely intended) this matchup to NBC Gold, the pay-for-access streaming service. Would be a perfect 10 had Burnley elected to wear sky blue shorts and socks as part of their standard home kit. 9.5/10

———

Manchester City (sky blue) 8-0 Watford (yellow/black)

This would have been much better had the Hornets stuck to a traditional yellow home kit. As always, that black half of the kit feels out of place. Still love that City home strip, though it would be perfect with sky blue socks. 8/10

———

Newcastle (white/black) 0-0 Brighton (green)

An unexciting match with mediocre kits. Newcastle sport their awful home kit, and Brighton carried over a past Nike teamwear template change kit as their third strip for this season. 3/10

———

Crystal Palace (red/blue) 1-1 Wolves (“old gold”)

This is a perfect example of two kits that are great on their own (excusing Wolves’ teamwear template, because it actually looks pretty good on the pitch) and elevate the match when paired together. 10/10

———

West Ham (claret) 2-0 Manchester United (beige)

It has been years since Manchester United had a classy white change kit. Is it too much to ask for? This beige design is the latest in awful Adidas United change kit. 3/10

———

Arsenal (red) 3-2 Aston Villa (sky blue)

Two beautiful kits on their own, but something felt off about the red shirts when paired with claret shorts and socks. 7.5/10

———

Chelsea (blue) 1-2 Liverpool (red)

Mono vs. mono. Chelsea have a garish Stamford Bridge pattern on the front of their shirt, which is unappealing. Liverpool looked fine, especially in their all-red change socks. 7/10

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball NewsDodgers P Rich Hill wore his knee brace again last night after re-aggravating his injury in his last start (from Jakob Fox). … Mark your calendars: A Padres exec announced via San Diego Studio’s Twitch stream that the team will unveil their new uniforms on Nov. 9 (from @FriarGal). … Fifteen-year Nats season ticket holders are receiving this commemorative pin (from multiple readers). … The fan who caught the home run that marked Angels DH Albert Pujols’s 2,000th RBI has given the ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame in honor of his late son.

NFL News: Washington misspelled LB London Fletcher’s name at Monday’s Ring of Honor ceremony (from Mike Chamernik). … Former Vikings RB Oscar Reed wore a current-day jersey at Sunday’s pregame ceremony instead of a period-appropriate jersey from his time with the team (from @NFL_Journal). … The Lions will wear their throwbacks against the Chiefs on Sunday (from multiple readers). … Here’s how the Jags’ grounds crew maintains the playing field (from James Gilbert). … Following up on an item from Paul’s MMUW report two days ago, here’s why Seahawks DL Ziggy Ansah wore three different pairs of shoes on Sunday. … In addition to being benched on Sunday, Giants QB Eli Manning didn’t have the NFL 100 logo on his jersey collar (from @HarriBacardi).

College Football News: Nevada released a hype video for their all-blue outfit. The player wearing the uniform in the video, DE Dom Peterson, has a off-center NOB (from Sam Wescott). … Throwbacks for Penn this week. Scroll down a bit on the thread and you’ll find the “inspiration” for the throwbacks (from multiple readers). … Georgia Tech is wearing gold facemasks at practice this week, and will presumably wear them against Temple on Saturday (from multiple readers). … This sportswriter proposes 10 Syracuse players who should have their jerseys retired (from @walbergLines). … Here’s the ACC Uni Tracker for Week 3. … Here’s an article on Utah State’s uniform seamstress (from Benji King).

Hockey News: Wisconsin women’s received recently received their national championship rings, but they came with a typo. Hamden, Conn., the site of the national championship game, is misspelled as “Hampden” (from Jeff Ash). … Here’s a hype video showcasing Day of the Dead-themed sweaters for the San Antonio Rampage, affiliate of the Blues (from Ryan Russell). … Here’s the logo for the 2020 AHL All-Star Game in Ontario, Calif (from Jakob Fox).

Basketball News: Looks like the Suns are getting orange uniforms (from Josh Pearlman). … The Nuggets have updated their ad patch to reflect the new Western Union logo (from Tyson Ruch). … For the latest on new NBA number assignments, check out Etienne Catalan‘s Twitter feed. … New court for Marshall (from M. Brinston Berry). … Alabama has taped an extra-far away three-point line onto their practice court, even further from the NBA line in white (from Griffin Smith). … New uniforms for Wake Forest men’s (from James Gilbert).

Soccer News: From Josh Hinton: Manchester City chose to wear their third kit last night. … Change socks for Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. … For more kit-related news, make sure to check out Josh‘s Twitter feed. … Las Vegas Lights FC of the USL Championship is holding a jersey design contest (from Zak, who didn’t give his last name).

Grab Bag: New logos for WWE’s flagship shows Raw and SmackDown. Old logos on top, new logos on the bottom. … A group of high school cheerleaders held up a Trump banner (NYT link) at a football game in North Carolina, and of course a controversy followed.

• • • • •

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: I watch very little TV these days except for sports, but earlier this year I watched both seasons of Fleabag, the show that won all those Emmys a few nights ago, and fucking loved it. As you may be aware, the show was based on a one-woman play by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. A recent performance of that play here in NYC was filmed, and the resulting movie is now screening at the IFC Center. My friend/cat-sitter Laura — who hadn’t seen the TV version — joined me to see it last night.

The most interesting thing about the play was how some of the writing decisions played out very differently in a monologue setting. On TV, it was fine (if a bit weird) for the protagonist’s best friend to be named Boo, because Boo was a real character, played by a real actress, which sort of normalized the name. But if you’re alone onstage, talking directly to the audience in a sort of theater/stand-up hybrid, it seems really odd to just off-handedly mention “my friend Boo,” because it’s such an unusual name. Like, why not call her Jane, or Carrie, or whatever?

Similarly, the guinea pig-themed café was a very entertaining device in the TV show, because every scene that took place there featured all sorts of guinea pig artwork on the walls, sort of like a silent joke. But in the one-person stage format, referring to a “guinea pig-themed café” without any supporting visuals just sounds odd and hard to wrap your head around.

Since I had seen the TV show and Laura hadn’t, I kept wondering how these references sounded to her. When we compared notes afterward, she confirmed that she didn’t even understand at first that “Boo” was meant to be a person’s name, and that she initially thought the guinea pig-themed café was supposed to be a conceptual metaphor or something like that.

Personally, I much preferred the TV version (not only for the reasons I just listed, but mainly because I preferred the interaction between Waller-Bridge and the other cast members over the one-person format), but it was really interesting to see where it came from. A good night.

73 comments to Retired Number Is Latest Mets Head-Scratcher

  • Nestor Chylak | September 25, 2019 at 8:54 am |

    And I always think of Piazza as a Dodger.

    Seriously, Mets, it’s okay to have just a few retired numbers.

    • Richard | September 25, 2019 at 9:11 am |

      No one is complaining about Piazza’s number being retired. Many fans want #17 retired for Keith Hernandez. No one is going to argue about #5 for David Wright. But Koosman?

      I used to go to the dog park years ago and there was a guy there was very good friends with Keith Hernandez. I would talk about about Keith with him and he used to tell me that it “killed” Keith that his #17 was not retired. Yesterday’s announcement made me wonder how Keith felt since arguably, he’s more deserving of a number retirement than Koosman. But it is likely good news since Koosman’s number retirement opens the door for Keith.

      With the Koosman announcement, I believe 5 and 17 will go up on the wall and possibly 8, but hope it’s not beyond that. It would be cruel for the Mets, who have held out 8 since 2002, to retire it after Carter’s passing when it could have easily been done while he was still alive.

      • Nestor Chylak | September 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm |

        I guess no one considers how adding retired numbers cheapens the honor for the truly revered player.

        I don’t think any player you mentioned could carry Seaver’s jock.

        • Mark in Shiga | September 26, 2019 at 1:40 am |

          Nestor, I feel exactly the same way.

          There are far too many retired numbers in baseball.

      • TIm | September 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm |

        “Who does this guy think he is?”

        “I’M Keith Hernandez!”

    • Block "O Canada" | September 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm |

      I’ll always think of Piazza as a member of the Marlins. (And Rasheed Wallace with the Atlanta Hawks.)

    • Dave | September 26, 2019 at 6:26 am |

      No, to me, Piazza will always be a Florida Marlin.

  • Jefferson | September 25, 2019 at 8:56 am |

    Max Scherzer’s goggles are backwards. Blue for brown eye, brown for blue eye. Did anyone else notice?

    • Jefferson | September 25, 2019 at 9:18 am |

      Or am I seeing things?

  • DonS | September 25, 2019 at 8:58 am |

    Wow. We are comparing the sh*t-show of Dan Snyder to the sh*t-show of Fred and Jeff Wilpon. As a Mets fan, I need to go lay down. That is a lot to take in so early in the AM.

  • Ron S. | September 25, 2019 at 9:03 am |

    Being a lifetime Mets fan as well I thought that the Koosman number retirement was a bit odd myself. I’m almost 55, so the the last time I saw Koosman pitch in a Mets uniform was when I was 13 in 1978. His last two years as a Met were complete duds (8-20 in 1977, 3-15 in 1978), so the only reason why his number was retired because he has the team record for most wins by a lefty? Another head scratcher from our favorite team Paul. PS – I’m glad that you’re on the mend!

  • Richard | September 25, 2019 at 9:08 am |

    Paul, I want to add some more context to the puzzling decision the Mets have made with Koosman’s number retirement.

    1) As you noted, why would you keep 36 in circulation for 41 years and then decide to retire it? Usually a number is kept out of circulation until it’s retired or maybe it’s kept out of circulation for a couple of years before going back into the number rotation out of respect.

    2) #8 has not been worn since Matt Galante (a coach) in 2002 and #17 has not been worn since 2010 since Fernando Tatis. Why would you keep these numbers of circulation for 17 and 9 years respectively, and then make your next number retirement a number that’s never been taken out of circulation?

    3) I am a Mets fan. Number retirements are a topic of interest to me and I’ve had many conversations. Never once has Koosman’s number come up. It’s always a conversation about Carter and Keith Hernandez (and more recently, Piazza and currently, Wright).

    I fear Koosman’s number will eventually be viewed as a superfluous number retirement that will leave fans scratching their heads 20 years from now. While he was a valuable member of the 1969 Mets, he is not a standout figure that immediately comes up when thinking about the Mets similar to Seaver, Wright, Keith Hernandez, etc.

    I also fear that this is going to open the floodgates and the Mets will become like the Astros, where they have a bunch of retired numbers for non HOFs and more obscure guys that the average MLB fan has either never heard of or is not familiar with.

    • Mark in Shiga | September 26, 2019 at 1:53 am |

      “Usually a number is kept out of circulation until it’s retired or maybe it’s kept out of circulation for a couple of years before going back into the number rotation out of respect.”

      I like that latter solution.

      Unfortunately, it feels like these days there are a lot of teams suddenly retiring numbers for people after many players have worn the number in the interval. (The Pirates took #11 away after something like 60 years!)

      I would really like to see either your solution, or one in which there is only one retired number at a time, and it stays retired until the next worthy player comes along and is put back into circulation. You would still have a long list of past honorees, but without future generations forever losing their numbers. And you could use that system to honor players like Hernandez and Carter who made great contributions but weren’t with the team for very long.

      As a thought experiment, what would the Mets have done under this system?

      I’m guessing: retired 37 for Casey Stengel from 1963 until Gil Hodges left as manager. Brought 37 back, retired 14 for Hodges until Tom Seaver played his last Mets game when people would be talking about him being the next to wear the mantle. They do that in 1987 after he retires. Then they give it to Hernandez at some point in the ’90s, and then maybe to John Franco or Mike Piazza after 2001. Then to Gary Garter when his illness becomes public (2010?). Now it’s David Wright.

      This way, one recently-retired (or departed) legend has his number hanging up on the wall and nowhere else, and all the previous legends are still remembered without diminishing the available numbers — or preventing future generations from honoring them by specifically choosing their number.

  • Omar Jalife | September 25, 2019 at 9:14 am |

    I love the Premier League Roundup!
    I would change the order of the games to have the worst match first and the best match last (like a countdown).
    Might I suggest putting a number right next to the uniform color, inside the parenthesis, in order to state how many times has this kit been worn in the season.
    Great work Josh

    • Josh Hinton | September 25, 2019 at 9:43 am |

      Omar, thank you for the kind words! I hadn’t thought of ranking them or doing them in a countdown, but that is a very good idea. So is tracking the amount of matches each kit is worn. Thank you for the feedback, much appreciated.

    • Paulio | September 25, 2019 at 11:04 am |

      I agree with everything Omar says!

    • Matt S | September 26, 2019 at 8:51 am |

      I like the Premier League kit round up as an idea, but feel the ratings often are disconnected with the classicist ideals of the rest of Uni-Watch.

      The Liverpool kit is generally considered classically good, the Norwich fade garish. The rating for Norwich also seem high just because you like the shirt.

      I’m not sure this is constructive feedback unfortunately, but as a Uni-Watch and soccer fan I feel this is the main reason I’m not enjoying this feature as much as I’d except to.

  • Dumb Guy | September 25, 2019 at 9:16 am |

    “Here’s how the Jags’ grounds crew maintains the playing field”

    You mean “paints the playing filed from scratch”. They are painting blank turf–not maintaining what has already been done.

  • Davis J | September 25, 2019 at 9:17 am |

    In the photo showing the uniform that inspired Penn’s throwback, one of the Dartmouth players is missing the “D” from his helmet. I wonder if that was intentional or if it had come off. Were helmet logos stickers or painted on back then?

  • Wade Heidt | September 25, 2019 at 9:17 am |

    Josh, really started to appreciate your dislike for the Watford black/yellow jersey when watching some highlights on the tube recently. When you get the all-around view in action, it just looks weird with 1/4 of the jersey black and 3/4 yellow. The full yellow jersey would work again as suggested. I would be fine with the black and yellow stripes again.

    -And my request to Spurs – bring back a brown kit!

    • LI Matt | September 25, 2019 at 9:29 am |

      I believe you mean “*chocolate* kit” ;)

  • Jamie Rathjen | September 25, 2019 at 9:25 am |

    I’m glad we have a regular soccer thing (besides me cramming stuff in the Ticker) with the PL roundup.

    I find myself disagreeing with Josh sometimes, especially on some of the lower-rated matchups. For example, green-white-green is legitimately my favorite combo in the sport (it was worn by Germany for a long time), and Brighton wore it last weekend, so I’d rate that one higher. But it’s all personal preference, and that’s fine.

    Also, odd coincidence about the Wisconsin women’s hockey team typo: Hampden Park in Glasgow is exactly the opposite, as it’s spelled with a P but is pronounced without the P.

    • Iain | September 25, 2019 at 9:51 am |

      I’m all for soccer content but I don’t see the point of a weekly rating of every Premier League game. Seems to me that there’s already repetition in Josh’s comments – very understandable when the uniforms are the same.
      I would prefer to see his picks for the top 5 best-looking games across multiple leagues. Go for the Big 5 to make it manageable – England, Italy, Spain, Germany, France.

      • Jamie Rathjen | September 25, 2019 at 11:18 am |

        I was thinking of that as well; my thought was essentially the college football 5 and 1, but for soccer.

    • Padday | September 25, 2019 at 12:05 pm |

      Strongly agree on the Brighton green, and similar to the Germany example, I think it’s partially because green seems slightly out of left field compared to the regular palette of the respective teams. For Brighton, the blue of the crest really pops against what is a very nice shade of green.

      Moreover, while I accept “teamwear” as implicit criticism when applied to unimaginative template recolours, I don’t think it applies here because, as far as templates go, it’s really very benign and acts more as canvas than overbearing motif.

  • Dumb Guy | September 25, 2019 at 9:26 am |

    In the Eli photo I see Daniel Jones’ American flag decal is placed right on an edge/crease in the helmet shell. Seems odd placement, but, whatever.

    Also, are the Giants’ shells more glittery and’or “metallicy” blue than they have been in previous years??

  • Graf Zeppelin | September 25, 2019 at 9:40 am |

    The Koosman thing reminds me a bit of when the Islanders retired Bob Nystrom’s number. Great guy, well-remembered, community ambassador, good player, scored the first Stanley Cup-winning goal, radio analyst, and all that, and none of Koosman’s extracurricular baggage. But as with Koosman, his number had been in circulation for a while and was actually being worn at the time (by defenseman Vladimir Malakhov). There was a good deal of head-scratching in the Nassau Coliseum press box — guys who knew Bob personally and worked with him — at the time, for some of the same reasons; again, great guy, good player, iconic moment, &c., just not quite worthy of such a mellifluous honor.

    Of course, at the time the Islanders were terrible, mired in financial, ownership and arena issues (not to mention a dorky frozen-seafood logo), so the move was obviously a cynical ploy to boost attendance for one game. Which makes the Koosman move a little scary, in that it suggests the Mets might not be — and don’t expect to be — competitive next year.

    • Shaftman | September 25, 2019 at 9:50 am |

      I think the major difference between the two is that Nystrom’s number was retired only 9 years after he retired (in 1995). Those in attendance that night (including me) had actually watched him play and had positive and first person impressions of the player.

      As a Mets fan, I know that Koosman was on the ’69 team, but really not a whole lot more than that and don’t have any emotional attachment.

      For all of the reasons Paul gave, I agree that this just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  • Brian E | September 25, 2019 at 10:03 am |

    Just want to chime in on the Koosman thing.

    I’m a Mets fan in my mid-30s, so I didn’t see Koosman pitch. That said, my dad worships the ’69 Mets, so when I was growing up, I heard many, many stories about how great and underrated Koosman was. Frankly, he’s far more worthy of the honor than Keith, Carter, or almost anyone else that a lot of Mets fans put in this conversation. In fact, Koosman has the fourth-highest bWAR in a Mets uniform, behind only Seaver, Wright, and Gooden.

    That said, I would have preferred if the Mets had kept their insanely high standard. In my opinion, number retirements should really only be done for the icons; the guys where it just *feels* wrong for anyone else to be in that number. You know those guys when you see them. In my opinion, for the Mets, it’s Seaver, Piazza, and Wright (and eventually deGrom will be in that conversation).

    I know the Mets got a nice little attendance bump from the ’69 celebration, so I’m sure that’s a factor. And if they were even on the fence about retiring Koosman’s number, I’m glad they’ll do it while he can enjoy it (as opposed to the way they handled the Seaver statue). The thing I’m not so happy about is Jeff Wilpon saying the team plans to “catch up” on retiring some numbers. So don’t be surprised when 8, 16, 17, and 18 get hung up there as well.

    • Marc | September 25, 2019 at 4:26 pm |

      I’m convinced that it’s cover to justify retiring 8, 16, 17, and 18. David Wright’s #5 was a given but they probably want to be able to retire the quartet from ’86 in time for the 35th anniversary and not have to answer awkward questions about Koosman. But, I’m with you about having insanely high standards: Seaver, Wright, and Piazza only because Cooperstown erroneously inducted him as a Met. His years with the Dodgers were better.

  • Clevo | September 25, 2019 at 10:03 am |

    Stamford Bridge, not Stanford

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 10:05 am |

      Fixed.

  • Hudson Slaby | September 25, 2019 at 10:14 am |

    Retiring numbers is stupid.

  • AJ Kane | September 25, 2019 at 10:18 am |

    Having really only heard about this this morning, my immediate thought is that Koosman’s number is being retired as a nod to the ’69 Mets team.

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 10:19 am |

      But they’re not doing it as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the ’69 title. They’re doing it *next* year.

      • AJ Kane | September 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm |

        I mean, it IS the Mets we’re talking about here!

  • Random reader | September 25, 2019 at 10:28 am |

    If it wasn’t mentioned: Norwich City goalkeepers wear sky blue at home, hence Burnley not wearing sky blue socks/shorts (and why Man City wasn’t in their first choice kit in their earlier premier league match).

    I do like the Premier League roundup although sometimes to me it seems too much of the ratings have to do with not liking a particular shirt ad as opposed to the kit design as a whole, but these are your opinions so I will respect them.

    Sometimes premier league clubs have to wear different socks and shorts to avoid clashes without having to wear a completely different kit but some away teams will wear a different kit anyway just to boost awareness/potential revenue in sales.

    • Josh Hinton | September 25, 2019 at 12:11 pm |

      The Norwich-Burnley match was at Turf Moor … Norwich were not the home side, so theoretically their goalkeeper could change. Burnley wore white b/c their 2019/20 first choice home kit is with white shorts and socks, not sky blue. Personally, I prefer the sky blue with claret shirts.

      • Random reader | September 25, 2019 at 12:49 pm |

        Thanks for correcting me on that one! Totally get what you’re saying.

  • Memal | September 25, 2019 at 10:37 am |

    I enjoy the Premier League summary!

    I too think of Piazza as a Dodger and not a Met, but I’m 36.

    Can’t wait to see those Bears uniforms on the field! As a stripe fanatic it should look glorious!

    I’m making a note to make sure to check out the Penn game, those are some nice throwbacks as well.

  • David Murphy | September 25, 2019 at 11:48 am |

    Hopefully Georgia Tech does not introduce a new uni feature on the road Saturday at Temple. Only the Jackets would do that. Better to wait and wear the gold masks for the first time at home. Plus on October 5 the Jackets debut their blue superhero costumes, and they’re supposed to be wearing special helmets and shoes as well.

    The gold facemasks are a big improvement over the previous navy blue masks, which take away from the good-looking gold helmets. The gold masks blend in with the gold helmets for a much cleaner look. Wish Tech would wear white or grey masks with their white lids.

  • Ethan Hopkin | September 25, 2019 at 12:04 pm |

    Am I the only one making the Nationals/Redskins connection? Isn’t odd that two franchises in the same market make spelling mistakes? Albeit the Nats making many many mistakes.

  • DAF | September 25, 2019 at 12:44 pm |

    The tax denier Wikipedia link in the lede is broken (goes to “Tax protestertax” instead of “Tax protester”).

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm |

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • TN | September 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm |

    That Bears video is awesome. It’s great that they let the players discuss the decision, especially the Black players, rather than just having McCaskey or someone make the announcement. Makes me proud of my hometown.

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm |

      Agreed. Strong work by them. Good to see management and labor working together with a unified voice on an important topic.

  • Obbs | September 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm |

    I started watching the Mets in 1970 and I’m scratching my head at all of those who are scratching their heads. Better late than never and I hope this opens the door for 17 and 8.
    There are other older Met fans who’d like to see Ed Kranepool’s 7 retired. I’d scratch my head on that one

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 1:16 pm |

      I wish they had done 7 when Krane retired, because he had played in every single season of the team’s existence. That’s a special distinction. I agree that it makes little sense now.

      • Nestor Chylak | September 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm |

        Hey, what exactly did Gary Carter say when lobbying for the manager’s job? It wasn’t spelled out in the linked article.

        Is it just the fact he lobbied at all?

        • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 1:37 pm |

          I linked to two articles. Not sure which one you’re referring to.

          But in one case, he basically said, “If you’re ready to fire Willie Randolph, I’m ready to step in.” Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen both strongly criticized him for it on the air.

          In the other case, he was offered the gig to manage the Mets’ Double-A farm team in Binghamton but turned it down because “Binghamton is an armpit” and he felt he was already equipped to manage in the majors after one year skippering at Single-A.

          What an asshole.

      • Ron S. | September 25, 2019 at 2:01 pm |

        Paul, I remember in Krane’s last season with the Mets in 1979, team management was so tone deaf that they had “Lou Brock Appreciation Day” during the Cardinals last visit to Shea during that season. I could remember reading an article in the Bergen Record saying that Krane was visibly hurt by this slight by his own team (especially since he was an original Met)…and I was pretty upset about it as well.

  • Brian | September 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm |
    • Patrick in MI | September 25, 2019 at 8:15 pm |

      Does this mean the Bears should remove the GSH logo from their unis? And tear down any statues of “Papa Bear”?

      • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 10:13 pm |

        Maybe. Or they should at least be more complete in acknowledging his actions. Don’t you think?

  • Special K | September 25, 2019 at 1:52 pm |

    I’m not a soccer fan, but I absolutely enjoy the premier league roundup. I’m also a sucker for the college football 5&1 and Paul’s best and worst matchups in the NFL.

  • ChrisH | September 25, 2019 at 1:52 pm |

    That Koosman picture made me wonder…
    Did Shea Stadium have an entire livery of visiting team bullpen carts or did they repaint one for each series?

    “A Padres exec announced…that the team will unveil their new uniforms on Nov. 9”
    New jerseys available just in time for holiday shoppers?

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm |

      You could swap out the cap/roof on the carts.

    • Steve D | September 25, 2019 at 7:16 pm |

      I believe they had fabric coverings that they would place on top of the visitor’s buggy.

  • MotorCityJeff | September 25, 2019 at 2:41 pm |

    Scherzer has been celebrating with those goggles for several years. This pic is from 2012:
    https://www.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/max-scherzer-parties-custom-mismatched-goggles-mismatched-eyes-165203083–mlb.html

    • Patrick in MI | September 25, 2019 at 8:17 pm |

      Link seems to be broken.

  • Daniel Tarrant | September 25, 2019 at 5:56 pm |

    Regarding the Mets not honoring Strawberry and Gooden, it seems a bit mean of them to use a health problem as the reason. Drug abuse is a disease, even if it’s a self-inflicted one. I mean, the Yankees retired Mickey Mantle’s number despite his alcoholism.

    • Sferrazza Joseph | September 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm |

      Good point

  • Mats Westfeld | September 25, 2019 at 6:54 pm |

    I would like to take this opportunity to say fuck you for shitting on people with addiction issues. Seriously, how do you get so far up on your high horse? Check yourself.

    • Paul Lukas | September 25, 2019 at 10:11 pm |

      Actually, I didn’t criticize anyone’s addiction. But it would be a PR issue for the team, and retiring a number is ultimately a PR move, so the Mets would probably view it as a dicey proposition. That’s all.

  • Patrick in MI | September 25, 2019 at 8:18 pm |

    The Mets are like the Joe Biden of the baseball world.

  • Rich S. | September 25, 2019 at 8:41 pm |

    I’m 55 and was a big fan of Kooz, but retiring his number is strange to me too. If doing so, should have been this year as he did win games 2 and 5 of the ‘69 WS. Islanders fan from the start and fine with Nystrom number being retired. He played in every season from year 1 to 14 including all four cup winners and scored the iconic goal and had other memorable moments. Still 9th all time in goals (and 5th in penalty minutes). Big local community guy too during and after his career.

  • Steve D | September 25, 2019 at 9:02 pm |

    Almost 30 people have worn 36 after Koosman. What is the point to retire it now?

  • Neeko | September 25, 2019 at 9:27 pm |

    The PBS country music series Lukas noted last week is legit

    • Neeko | September 25, 2019 at 11:29 pm |

      Also – to make it uni related, having toured the country music HOF in Nashville —- how small in size the artists were & the amount of sequins they wore… crazy

  • Sferrazza, Joseph | September 25, 2019 at 9:34 pm |

    Whether you are young or old, the history of the team should always be available and remembered. If Jerry Koosman was not on that 69 staff, there probably would not be a pennant hanging for that year. While he played he exemplified class, competitiveness and team camaraderie. Not to mention he was a winner. To put him in the categories you did not to retire his number, makes you a shallow writer at best. Good for the Mets to show class, bad for the owners for doing it so late.

  • ThresherK | September 26, 2019 at 12:19 am |

    One more vote in favor of the EPL roundup!

  • L. Brown | September 26, 2019 at 2:35 pm |

    I am one of those old timers who does have fond memories of Koosman as a Met. I still find it odd to see players wearing #20 and 21since I was such a huge Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee fan. So retiring Koosman’s number.

    However I do agree that it was an odd call and decades overdue.

  • David Scherzer | September 29, 2019 at 8:08 pm |

    Yes, the Koosman pick comes out of left field. I have no problem with Hernandez. He was such a huge part of creating the winning culture that led to 1986. Batted 3rd on that iconic team. Leader. Gold Glove defender. Baseball IQ off the charts. An all-time great Met. And with his Seinfeld connection, he’s well known outside of Baseball. And he’s a part of one of the best booths in the game. Retire #17, you won’t regret it.