Keith Hernandez still appreciates a well-manicured infield and it was even more important to him as a player. The former Mets’ great first baseman and current SNY analyst was among the people in the organization who mourned death of former groundskeeper Pete Flynn Wednesday. “He kept a most beautiful infield around first at Shea” Hernandez said Wednesday, offering his highest praise for one-time head groundskeeper at Shea and Citi Field. Flynn, who was a member of the original crew that groomed the field the Mets first season at the Polo Grounds in 62′, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 79.
“Pete helped make our fields one of the best in baseball. He took such pride in his work and was a pro’s pro. Tom Seaver always said Shea Stadium’s mound had no equal. That’s a pretty good endorsement” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon on behalf of Mets Chairman of the Board & CEO Fred Wilpon, Mets President Saul Katz and the rest of the Mets organization. Inducted into Major League Baseball’s Groundskeeping Hall of Fame in 2015, Flynn stepped down as the head of the grounds crew in 2001 and finally retired in 2011, that was only after a very interesting career.
In 65′, Flynn drove the Beatles in an armoured car from second base to center field for their legendary concert at Shea Stadium that summer. He reconnected with Paul McCartney about 43 years later, driving the former Beatle through the catacombs of Shea for an appearance with Billy Joel in the last concert played at old stadium. In 79′, he was on hand as Pope John Paull II rode onto the field and the dark, rainy skies cleared for the Holy Father. In 75′, Flynn had to keep Shea’s grounds sharp despite the fact that four major league teams, Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets plated there. He also became well-known to players over years. He bonded with a young George Thomas Seaver, who he always called rookie. He also was particularly close to Jerry Koosman.
Asdrubal Cabrera had 4 at-bats in his second rehab game Wednesday and will likely be activated for Friday’s series opener in San Francisco. “I expect he will travel tomorrow and meet us in San Francisco on Friday” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Wednesday.
Michael Conforto, who has cooled off considerably this month, was out of the lineup Wednesday night. Terry Collins told it was “just a day off.” Conforto, who is 0 for his last 7 at-bats, is hitting just, 170 in 17 games this month.
After two straight games when the Mets bullpen was taxed, they brought up right-handed reliever Erik Goeddel for Wednesday’s game to protect themselves with spot starter Tyler Pill starting. Goeddel was 2-4 with a 6,67 ERA in 25 games for Las Vegas this year. He was 2-2 with a 4,54 ERA (18 earned runs/35,2 innings) in 36 games with NY in 2016.