Ken Rosenthal: “the Mets damn sure should keep Jose Reyes and David Wright”

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Should the Mets let Jose Reyes walk? Should they trade him at the deadline? Or should they just go in the other direction and keep Reyes and try to unload David Wright? Such a hard set of decisions!

Or maybe not, because after reading Ken Rosenthal’s latest, I’m having a hard time disagreeing with him: the Mets should try hard to sign Reyes and keep Wright.

The logic is pretty simple: Reyes is better than any shortstop that Mets are going to be able to replace him with and, assuming Fred Wilpon doesn’t go with a super austerity plan, he can be had.  Meanwhile, after figuring out which teams would be interested in acquiring David Wright, Rosenthal makes a pretty reasonable statement: “The entire discussion is ridiculous. If so many teams could use Wright, then maybe, just maybe, the Mets could use him, too.”

If Fred Wilpon declares a fire sale, sure, all bets are off.  But Rosenthal is right: if the Mets are merely going to bring payroll down to the $100-120 million range, it’s totally possible for them to keep both Reyes and Wright and makes a great deal of baseball sense to do so.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.