Originally posted on Mets Merized Online  |  Last updated 9/5/13
In 2004, general manager Jim Duquette thought the Mets were a playoff contender, as the team was just three games out of first place on July 22.  But one week later, the Mets were seven games off the pace and falling fast.  Not wanting to give up on the season, Duquette traded away the team’s top pitching prospect, Scott Kazmir, to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for pitcher Victor Zambrano. The Mets finished the year with a 71-91 record, a full 25 games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves.  Kazmir went on to become a two-time All-Star (2006, 2008), strikeout champion (2005) and helped lead the Rays to an unexpected American League pennant in 2008.  Duquette was replaced by Omar Minaya by the end of the 2004 campaign. Fast forward seven years later.  The San Francisco Giants were the defending World Series champions and had a 4½-game lead in the NL West on July 20.  A week later, the lead was down to three games.  At the time, Pablo Sandoval was the only player on the team with more...
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