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Tom Seaver and the free agent compensation draft, 1984

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  • Tom Seaver and the free agent compensation draft, 1984

    Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
    Here's a treasure:



    Ralph knew how to conduct an interview and Tom knew how to give one.

    We could have used Seaver in 1984 and 1985.
    Leaving him unprotected was a disgrace, although I do not think one of his strong points was or would have been teaching younger players. Seaver pitching against the Mets in the 86 world series would have been unbearable. Not glad he was hurt but was glad he couldn't pitch against the Mets in 86.

  • #2
    I totally agree. The Mets brass (Cashen?) could never give a complete honest answer as to why they let him go to the Chisox. In 1984 he won 15 games, and in 1985 he won 16 games. I will always believe he could have made the difference in both seasons, especially in the second half of 1984 when they lost 6 in a row and 7 in a row in the 2nd half (with an infamous 4 game sweep at Wrigley). I would have rather had Seaver facing the cubbies than Lynch or Terrell !

    And Seaver in 1985 makes up those 3 games behind St Louis.

    The only explanation I ever read that made any sense (even if I think it was completely wrong) was that Seaver wanted to be the manager and the Mets had groomed Davey Johnson for the job. Again, I have no idea what was the true reason, but Seaver on that team for those 2 years would have been the difference.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mandrake View Post
      I totally agree. The Mets brass (Cashen?) could never give a complete honest answer as to why they let him go to the Chisox. In 1984 he won 15 games, and in 1985 he won 16 games. I will always believe he could have made the difference in both seasons, especially in the second half of 1984 when they lost 6 in a row and 7 in a row in the 2nd half (with an infamous 4 game sweep at Wrigley). I would have rather had Seaver facing the cubbies than Lynch or Terrell !

      And Seaver in 1985 makes up those 3 games behind St Louis.

      The only explanation I ever read that made any sense (even if I think it was completely wrong) was that Seaver wanted to be the manager and the Mets had groomed Davey Johnson for the job. Again, I have no idea what was the true reason, but Seaver on that team for those 2 years would have been the difference.
      If I am not mistaken, at that time they sold it like it was between Gooden and Seaver and they went with Gooden. Obviously thats not a good enough answer nor has it ever made sense.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you come across the Mets season recaps I think the 1984 one mentions the reason at the time. I think they never expected him to be taken based on his age, salary and his record in 1982 and 1983. It is possible that they wanted Gooden on the 40 man or whatever it is roster but I can't swear to that though I recall it was to protect minor league players. Remember the farm system at the time was stacked as hard as it is to believe from this 2014 vantage point.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
          If you come across the Mets season recaps I think the 1984 one mentions the reason at the time. I think they never expected him to be taken based on his age, salary and his record in 1982 and 1983. It is possible that they wanted Gooden on the 40 man or whatever it is roster but I can't swear to that though I recall it was to protect minor league players. Remember the farm system at the time was stacked as hard as it is to believe from this 2014 vantage point.

          I think there had to be some internal problems between Seaver and Cashen/Ownership. The manager angle might make sense but Seaver did not really seem like he wanted much of a post player career in baseball. Cashen was pushing hard for Johnson from his Baltimore days so that makes the most sense. What strikes me the most is the money angle. Just from a financial stand point how much money did they lose not having Seaver on there staff? He is/was the all-time fan favorite and was in line for 300 wins in a Met uniform. I would think any Seaver start would bring a huge gate. In my opinion, a much bigger mistake then the "pension" they gave Bobby Bo.

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          • #6
            This quoted paragraph below is from Wikipedia. Not much comes up on a quick survey. Apparently he was taken in the free agent compensation draft (the White Sox lost Dennis Lamp).

            "Seaver and the Mets were stunned on January 20, 1984 when he was claimed in a free-agent compensation draft by the Chicago White Sox. The team (especially GM Frank Cashen) had incorrectly assumed that no one would pursue a high-salaried, 39-year-old starting pitcher, and left him off the protected list. Faced with either reporting to the White Sox or retiring, Seaver chose the former. The result for the Mets was an opening in the starting rotation that allowed Dwight Gooden to be part of the team.[citation needed]"

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            • #7
              Here's Frank Cashen, calling it "a calculated and regrettable gamble":

              http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6370,2519954

              My recollection is that the loss of Seaver indirectly led to Gooden's arrival in the majors. Remember, Doc was only 19 and had just finished his first full pro season, at the Class A level. He got a shot in camp, Davey loved what he saw, and the rest was history.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
                Here's Frank Cashen, calling it "a calculated and regrettable gamble":

                http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6370,2519954

                My recollection is that the loss of Seaver indirectly led to Gooden's arrival in the majors. Remember, Doc was only 19 and had just finished his first full pro season, at the Class A level. He got a shot in camp, Davey loved what he saw, and the rest was history.
                And if the Chisox did not claim Seaver, then Gooden would have been stuck in the minors? Somehow his 300 K's in 191 innings in the minors was not unnoticed by the Mets nor anyone else.

                Here's a link that discusses the Mets letting Seaver go from a few years ago.http://www.faithandfearinflushing.co...of-tom-seaver/

                Here's a NY Times article from that date: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/19/sp...-of-1500.html]Here, according to the Mets' source, are the players the Mets have protected: PITCHERS - Ron Darling, Walt Terrell, Sid Fernandez, Craig Swan, Jesse Orosco, Doug Sisk, Dwight Gooden, Tim Leary, Kevin Brown, Floyd Youmans and Wes Gardner. for the record, Kevin Brown was NOT the Kevin Brown we heard of.
                [/I]


                But I think I found an article about the smoking gun ! No, not the guy in the grassy knoll, but this tidbit:

                http://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/14/sp...t-manager.html

                ''I don't know if it'll come up,'' Tom Seaver was saying yesterday before his meeting at the club offices with Frank Cashen, the Mets' general manager, ''but looking to the future, I think I would like to run a ball club in the front office or manage on the field.''

                Sooner or later, Tom Seaver would be the obvious choice to succeed George Bamberger, especially now that he acknowledged having thought about being a manager some day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mandrake View Post
                  And if the Chisox did not claim Seaver, then Gooden would have been stuck in the minors? Somehow his 300 K's in 191 innings in the minors was not unnoticed by the Mets nor anyone else.

                  Here's a link that discusses the Mets letting Seaver go from a few years ago.http://www.faithandfearinflushing.co...of-tom-seaver/

                  Here's a NY Times article from that date: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/19/sp...-of-1500.html]Here, according to the Mets' source, are the players the Mets have protected: PITCHERS - Ron Darling, Walt Terrell, Sid Fernandez, Craig Swan, Jesse Orosco, Doug Sisk, Dwight Gooden, Tim Leary, Kevin Brown, Floyd Youmans and Wes Gardner. for the record, Kevin Brown was NOT the Kevin Brown we heard of.
                  [/I]


                  But I think I found an article about the smoking gun ! No, not the guy in the grassy knoll, but this tidbit:

                  http://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/14/sp...t-manager.html

                  ''I don't know if it'll come up,'' Tom Seaver was saying yesterday before his meeting at the club offices with Frank Cashen, the Mets' general manager, ''but looking to the future, I think I would like to run a ball club in the front office or manage on the field.''

                  Sooner or later, Tom Seaver would be the obvious choice to succeed George Bamberger, especially now that he acknowledged having thought about being a manager some day.
                  Here's how it always appeared to me:

                  Johnson was a rookie manager who was chosen to change team culture. Seaver, in many ways, was above and beyond Johnson's jurisdiction; a potential impediment. At the time Cashen probably assessed him as a league average pitcher on the downswing and not worth the potential headache. If Cashen knew he'd rebound into a top 10 AL pitcher over the next 2 years it might have changed his thinking.

                  I remember watching a game in 1983 and seeing a shot of the dugout. Keith Hernandez was trying to pal around with Seaver who was not smiling and not having any of Keith. Who knows what the team culture would have been like if Seaver had stayed?

                  It turned out to be a bad move from many perspectives. The only forgivable thing, assuming it was a Machiavellian trick to get rid of Seaver, is it was probably done in the interest of building a winning culture. As a Mets fan one feels nostalgia for any move motivated in any way by winning.


                  "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mongoose View Post
                    Here's how it always appeared to me:

                    Johnson was a rookie manager who was chosen to change team culture. Seaver, in many ways, was above and beyond Johnson's jurisdiction; a potential impediment. At the time Cashen probably assessed him as a league average pitcher on the downswing and not worth the potential headache. If Cashen knew he'd rebound into a top 10 AL pitcher over the next 2 years it might have changed his thinking.

                    I remember watching a game in 1983 and seeing a shot of the dugout. Keith Hernandez was trying to pal around with Seaver who was not smiling and not having any of Keith. Who knows what the team culture would have been like if Seaver had stayed?

                    It turned out to be a bad move from many perspectives. The only forgivable thing, assuming it was a Machiavellian trick to get rid of Seaver, is it was probably done in the interest of building a winning culture. As a Mets fan one feels nostalgia for any move motivated in any way by winning.
                    I tend to agree with your line of thinking here. The Seaver of '83 was probably more like the '77 Seaver who new manager Joe Torre had said "an unhappy Seaver was a burden on the team clubhouse"....than the fun loving guy from 1969.
                    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=5196,3178841

                    Cashen may have looked for a way to make a "mistake' rather than to trade Seaver a second time and risk the wrath of the fans. When Seaver beat the Yankees in a Chisox uniform for his 300th win, the Yankees had Lindsey Nelson in the booth and the Yankee announcers turned the microphone over to Lindsey for the final out. I remember someone got on base, and the meeting on the mound was SS Ozzie Guillen, catcher Carlton Fisk, and manager Tony La Rusa. (3 Hall of famers and another guy who also won a WS as a manager)


                    Of course, I wish Seaver won his 300th as a Met, but at the time doing it in Yankee Stadium was pretty satisfying. I remember Mets fans at the game chanting "Let's Go Met's when the Chisox were up.

                    And if he had to be a White Sox player that day, it was pay back for the Sox trading to the Mets Al Weiss, Tommie Agee, and JC Martin in 1968. All 3 were key players in 1969 ! (and also the reason I have rooted for the Chisox in the American league ever since !)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have to correct myself. This article reminded me of some facts and told me things I don't think I knew.

                      Davey knew about Doc well before the spring of 1984. He'd warmed him up a couple of years previously -- and been wowed -- while serving as a roving instructor in the Mets system, and after Doc's great season at Lynchburg in 1983, he went to tidewater and won a couple of games in the playoffs for Johnson.

                      Three weeks later Johnson was named Mets manager and began lobbying Cashen to at least consider giving Gooden a shot.

                      http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...pg=2573,585894

                      The choice to protect Craig Swan interests me. Swan had made a nice comeback from lots of arm problems in 1982, but he was not good at all in '83. He made the Mets staff in '84 but they released him in May.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tom Seaver and the free agent compensation draft, 1984

                        To get the Kiner's Korner thread back to its roots, I propose re-routing the posts about this tangent here. Milladrive, mind if I exercise a little mod power?

                        Anyway, here's a Davey Johnson quote from the Peter Golenbock club history, Amazin'.

                        Davey-Seaver.JPG

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was thinking about this thread again and wondered what Seaver himself had to say on the subject. His quote: "How could they be so blind?"

                          http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6685,1251828

                          This article concerns his negotiations with the White Sox. There had been talk that Seaver would quit rather than report to them, but he worked out a deal:

                          http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=5223,5226310

                          Supposedly the Mets spent "much time studying the White Sox' strengths and weaknesses regarding pitching needs and salary structure before making Seaver available":

                          http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6190,3483733

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