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Frank Viola is going to work for the Mets

Jan 31, 2011, 2:05 PM EDT

Frank Viola

Frank Viola — the best pitcher in the history of Long Island —  was all over the lobby down at the Winter Meetings last month.  I figured it was just because he lives down in Florida and was meeting and greeting, but maybe he was there on the make for a job. He just got one:  he’s been named the pitching coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets’ Class A team.  This is my favorite part of the story:

In addition to Viola and Backman, former Mets players Tim Teufel, Mookie Wilson, Howard Johnson, Randy Niemann, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling all have jobs in the organization or with the team-owned SNY cable network.

I know Viola wasn’t with the team then, but that factoid made me go back and check out the 1986 Mets’ Baseball-Reference page.  One of my favorite time wasters is to figure out who the most obscure and/or most unexpected player to actually pitch an inning or make a plate appearance for a famous team.  Call them the Eddie Matthews All-Stars if you will.  It can be a Hall of Famer who made an otherwise unmemorable cameo with a World Series team like Matthews did with the 1968 Tigers. It can be some random former prospect for a team you root for who somehow stumbled forward several years to pinch hit five times for a winner after you figured he was selling cars for a living.

I think my vote for the 1986 Mets was former Tiger jack-of-all-trades, Tim Corcoran, who used to get talked up a bit in late 70s Tigers publications.  There’s almost always one.

None of this has anything to do with Frank Viola, of course. But that’s how my mind works when it’s the offseason and nothin’ is going on.

  1. jasoncollette - Jan 31, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    He was coaching HS baseball down here in Orlando as recently as this past season and was also doing local cable sports work.

  2. sdelmonte - Jan 31, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    My pick for the ’86 Mets is Kevin Elster. Yes, he hung around for some time as the epitome of the “great glove, no bat” shortstop that’s all but extinct now. But in ’86, he joined the club right before Sept. 1, made the playoff roster, contributed nothing, and got a ring for being in the right place at the right time. He then spent the following year back at Triple A.

  3. phukyouk - Jan 31, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    he gonna be there 3rd starter?

  4. davebrownspiral - Jan 31, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Frankie V was better than Billy Koch?

  5. JB (the original) - Feb 1, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    Couldn’t show “Sweet Music” in his WS MVP Twins uni? Why slight the poor guy showing him in Mets garb.

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