Baseball’s Joe Frazier: 1922-2011

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A lot of folks may not remember Joe Frazier.  He played for the Indians, Reds, Cardinals and Orioles organizations in the late 40s through the 50s. His highest profile job in baseball was as manager of the Mets, but he only had the job for a short period of time.  He took over for the 1976 season and was fired 45 games into 1977.

His firing was sort of symbolic of what was about to happen with the Mets. A still competitive and respectable team in ’76 — they won 86 games that year — in ’77 they started horribly before Frazier was replaced by player/manager Joe Torre.  Two weeks later the Mets traded Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman on the same day in what came to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.”  The franchise was competitively moribund and generally dreary on the eyes of the fan base for several years afterwards. It was only when Strawberry and Gooden showed up that fortunes began to change.

In later years Frazier managed in the minors and held various jobs in and around baseball.  He retired to his home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where he lived with his wife until yesterday, when he died of a massive heart attack.

Good travels, Joe Frazier.

Mets, Orioles have discussed a Matt Harvey trade

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles and Mets have discussed a trade for Matt Harvey.

Rosenthal says the discussions have involved a reliever going back to New York and observes that that Harvey and Brad Brach are projected for similar salaries in their final arbitration years which could make a financial match.

There have been a handful of Harvey rumors over the past couple of days, with a report coming out yesterday that the Mets have spoken with at least two teams about their fallen ace. Jon Heyman said today that the Rangers may have been one of those teams. Maybe the Orioles are the second or, perhaps, the third?

All if this has to be pretty deflating if you’re a Mets fan, given the promise and dominance Harvey showed before injuries waylaid him the past two seasons. Harvey is still just 28 but he made only 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, posting a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92.2 innings.

If the Mets can’t find a trade partner this winter, they’ll clearly hope for him to rebound at least a little bit in 2018, allowing him to regain some trade value.