Minor leagues feel heat

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

There always seems to be a black cloud that hovers around the New York Mets the past few seasons.

It ranges from Matt Harvey’s public girlfriend problems that resulted in him missing a scheduled start in 2017, to Yoenis Cespedes’ golfing escapades while nursing one of his myriad of injuries, and to now manager Mickey Callaway’s blow-up with a reporter after a difficult loss Sunday to the Cubs.

Disregarding the team’s latest flap, I thought it was interesting that the Mets brought in 82-year-old Phil Regan as interim pitching coach after Dave Eiland’s firing last week.

It’s great to see someone of Regan’s age and vast pitching knowledge to continue the development of young pitchers.

Earlier this year, he was working for the Mets as a roving pitching instructor before taking over as the pitching coach for Triple-A Syracuse when Glenn Abbott took a medical leave of absence.

Hopefully, Regan won’t be sidetracked by the team’s continuance of drama in and out of the clubhouse.

Prior to Monday’s game at the Phillies, the Mets’ bullpen recorded ugly numbers in the past 25 games: 67.1 innings pitched, 7.08 earned-run average, 6 blown saves, 37 walks and a .300 opposing batting average.

Regan pitched for the Tigers (1960-65), Dodgers (1966-68), Cubs (1968-72) and White Sox (1972).

In 551 career games, including 105 starts, he went 96-81 with 92 saves and a 3.84 ERA. He was an All-Star in 1966, when he finished 14-1 with a 1.62 ERA and an NL-high 21 saves.

Regan managed the Orioles in 1995, posting a 71-73 mark. He also served as pitching coach for three MLB teams in the 1980s and ’90s.

When Regan broke in with the Tigers at age 23, his manager, Jimmy Dykes, was born in 1896. That’s right, 1896. Dykes was fired 96 games into the 1960 season.

Some of the others who come to mind that were older than Regan either as a coach or continually in uniform included the Cardinals’ Red Schoendienst (age 95), the Angels’ Jimmie Reese (92) and the Rays’ Don Zimmer (83).

n Richie Rich’s Top 10 rankings in Major League Baseball: 1. Dodgers; 2. Yankees; 3. Astros; 4. Twins; 5. Braves; 6. Cubs; 7. Brewers; 8. Rays; 9. Red Sox; 10. Indians.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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