Jun 3, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1977) Mets Fire Manager Joe Frazier & Hire Joe Torre

May 31, 1977: At this point in the 1977 season the Mets were 15-30 & in last place. The front office made a move & fired Manager Joe Frazier, replacing him with Brooklyn's own Joe Torre. 

Torre had been brought over in 1975, after the team had tried to acquire him in a trade for years. He was to remain on the active roster as well & be a player / manager.

Joe Frazier had been a manager in the Mets organization since the late sixties. He had won four championships at various minor league levels. 


After Yogi Berra was fired late in 1975, coach Roy McMillan was named interim manager, until a replacement was found. In 1976 the Mets gave Frazier the job. He was dubbed" a winner" at the press conference and Frazier stated "I'm the type of manager who stresses fundamentals. I think a man should go from first to third on a hit and second to home. I demand hustle. If I have my way, you're going to see a Mets' club next year that will hustle." Frazier's hustle got the Mets to a third place finish in the bicentennial year at 86-76. 

After some bad trades to key players, the aging of other veterans, a refusal of the organization to sign big money free agency & a Tom Seaver looming, Frazier didn't have much to work with. He got fired two months into the '77 season in last place. 

Torre was in his third year as a Mets player, he had hit .306 in 1976 after a disappointing '75 season. He only played 26 games in 1977, hitting only .176. He decided to call it quits as a player & focua all his attention on managing. Torre wouldn't fare much better as a young manager. The Mets went 48-68 the rest of the way, finishing in last place. He would stay at the helm for five years with the Mets going 286-420, never finishing higher than fourth place. That finish came in the 2nd half of the 1981 strike season.

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