“The Lineup: Hits & Errors – The Best and Worst Deals in New York Baseball”
Eight-Part Series to Run on Consecutive Nights Starting Sunday, March 11 at 10:00 p.m.
Featuring Tony La Russa, Scott Boras, Dave Kaplan and Fran Healy; Interviews with Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, Ralph Kiner, Jim Palmer, Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Valentine, Mike Piazza, Gene Michael, Tony Kubek, Lou Piniella and more…
New York, NY (March 8, 2012) – MSG announced today that its three-time New York Emmy Award-winning baseball series, “The Lineup,” will return with eight new episodes on consecutive nights starting Sunday, March 11 at 10:00 p.m. “The Lineup: Hits & Errors – The Best and Worst Deals in New York Baseball” will take an in-depth look at the spectrum of trades and free agency signings throughout Yankees and Mets history – from Gary Carter to Tom Seaver and Paul O’Neill to Carl Pavano – to determine which were the most impactful and regrettable.
Hosted by veteran broadcaster and former Yankees catcher, Fran Healy, each 30-minute episode will present five nominations for consideration in seven categories: “Mets Best Trades, “Yankees Best Trades,” “Worst Trades – Yankees and Mets,” “Yankees Best Free Agent,” “Mets Best Free Agent,” Yankees Worst Free Agent,” and “Mets Worst Free Agent.” Healy, and an expert panel consisting of three-time World Series champion manager Tony La Russa, renowned sports agent Scott Boras and baseball historian and author Dave Kaplan, will discuss each nomination and collectively decide on the top candidate in each category. The eighth episode will feature the panel discussing the current state of the game of baseball. The series schedule can be found below.
“We’ve gathered some of the best minds in baseball for our panel and talked to some of the game’s most exciting legends and personalities to rank the best and worst deals in New York baseball history,” said Dan Ronayne, executive vice president and general manager of MSG Networks. “The topic has been discussed among friends and rivals for generations and we hope the show’s analysis will encourage even more baseball talk in New York.”
Some of the names in the debate, in no particular order, include: Keith Hernandez, Tom Seaver, Jay Buhner, Roger Clemens, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Bobby Bonilla, Roger Maris, Pedro Martinez, Gil Hodges, Alex Rodriguez, David Cone, Carlos Beltran, Sparky Lyle, Nolan Ryan, Lenny Dykstra, Robin Ventura, Tom Glavine and Hideki Irabu.
“Trades have been a talking point of baseball fans since the infancy of the game and free agency added another layer to the debate in the late 60s,” said Healy. “And in New York City, where the passion is greater than anywhere else, the arguments about the best and worst deals can get pretty heated.”
The show will include original interviews with some of New York’s most famous former baseball stars, managers, coaches and executives, including: Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, Ralph Kiner, Jim Palmer, Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Valentine, Mike Piazza, Gene Michael, Tony Kubek and Lou Piniella. Quotes from the panel and guests can be found below.
Sunday, March 11: “Mets Best Trades” (10:00 p.m.)
Monday, March 12: “Yankees Best Trades” (11:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, March 13: “Worst Trades – Mets & Yankees (10:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 14: “Yankees Best Free Agent” (10:30 p.m.)
Thursday, March 15: “Mets Best Free Agent” (10:00 p.m.)
Friday, March 16: “Yankees Worst Free Agent” (10:30 p.m.)
Saturday, March 17: “Mets Worst Free Agent” (10:00 p.m.)
Sunday, March 18: “The State of Baseball” (9:30 p.m.)
QUOTES FROM THE PROGRAM
Scott Boras on the boundaries of an agent: “Any time the integrity of the game is in the hands of the game itself, which means the uniform, the dugout, your teammates and such, the business of the game has no place in the integrity of the game…if you cross that line, you are damaging the game.”
Tony La Russa on Gary Carter: “That is a classic example of a team that is this close to winning and there’s the veteran that fits you absolutely perfectly, and you bring him in but you have to pay with young players. In that particular trade, there was some nice talent that went to Montreal, but there wasn’t a star that came out of there.”
Dave Kaplan on Gary Carter: “When he came to the Mets, along with Keith (Hernandez)…it brought the Mets instant credibility, and the Mets were on their way.”
Reggie Jackson on Gary Carter: “I wish he had been on a team that I was on.”
Tommy Lasorda on Gary Carter: “I sent one of our scouts out to see him play and he came back and he said ‘I don’t want him, we don’t need him’ and that was it. Now he’s in the Hall of Fame.”
Nolan Ryan on Gil Hodges: “The Mets realized the value of Gil Hodges for that organization and, being a New Yorker, what he meant to the future of the New York Mets, and his ability as a manager.”
Tom Seaver on Gil Hodges: “If I had to make a statement about the most important person in the history of the franchise, it was Gil Hodges coming over and setting the standard on how things would be done.”
Dave Kaplan on Mike Piazza: “Preston Wilson had a very nice major league career, but Mike Piazza became the face of the franchise for the Mets and brought them back to become contenders, and when he goes in the Hall of Fame, he’ll be wearing a Mets cap.”
Bobby Valentine on Mike Piazza: “I don’t know how you could make a better trade. He’s one of the greatest Mets ever.”
Mike Piazza on playing in New York: “It was a little bit of a struggle at first, it was frustrating – I had never known about the energy of the New York market and then suddenly to be a hometown player, I was starting to feel the pressure – but when I was able to relax and play my game, I feel I turned the momentum around and received a lot of support from the fans to stay.”
Tony La Russa on Mike Piazza: “One of the most dangerous hitters of our time. If you couldn’t hit a home run to dead center or the opposite field, you’re not a home run hitter…Mike Piazza hit balls to right field that left-handed power hitters would be proud of.”
Lou Piniella on Paul O’Neill: “He and I were a lot alike so we clashed a little bit, but I always respected him as a player. Stick called me and said ‘I have a chance to trade for Paul O’Neill what do you think?’ I said, ‘Stick, I would suggest you get him as quick as possible’ and to Stick’s credit he did just that.”
Jim Palmer on Reggie Jackson: “Reggie would be running backwards as fast as guys were running forwards. People ask me ‘who are the players that played the hardest?’ On that list was Reggie…he may not have been the greatest outfielder, but Reggie could hit and he played the game hard.”
Ralph Branca on Roger Maris: “Roger Maris, even though he had sixty-one home runs, he’s still underrated. He was a great outfielder, great arm, had the great instincts.”
Gene Michael on Roger Maris: “Kansas City used to be called our Farm Team, because the Yankees had successfully traded some players out of there, and Roger was one of them.”
Vida Blue on Catfish Hunter: “I thought that was great. It was a big loss for the Oakland A’s and the fans on the west coast. Catfish Hunter is one of my favorite all-time players and teammates. I thought he made the difference with the Yankee pitching staff and put them over the hump.”
Tommy Lasorda on Nolan Ryan: “Look what he did. Look what he accomplished. This guy was tremendous. I have never seen anybody like him. And you may never ever see anybody like him again…and the way it turned out, (the Mets) shouldn’t have (traded him). But at the time, I guess he didn't have the control. But just look at Koufax. Koufax had trouble with control, and once he corrected it, he went on to become one of the greatest pitchers.”
Jim Palmer on Tom Seaver: “Just think how happy they were to get Tom Seaver in Cincinnati. Just think how happy they were to get Tom in Chicago. I’m sure (the Mets) were very disappointed, you know, when you trade Tom Seaver because he’s Tom Seaver…he could pitch, he could think, and he ended up in the Hall of Fame.”
Jim Palmer on Kei Igawa: “It makes sense to get an experienced lefthander. You hope that he’s going to be able to step into your rotation. What did Pete Rose say about lefthanders, “if you’re breathing and you throw left-handed, you have a chance at success in the major leagues,’ but New York – it can change people.”
Sparky Lyle on Carl Pavano: “I think the pressure in New York got to him. Number one, though, that would be a guy that I would not have given that contract to. He didn’t throw hard…plus he was a guy that got hurt all the time.”
For more information about “The Lineup: Hits & Errors – The Best and Worst Deals in New York Baseball History,” including videos, photos and fan polls, please visit www.msg.com/lineup.