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Conversations with Clayton: Irish War Cry

An interview with the 2017 Belmont Stakes Runner Up, who talks mostly about the Mets

152nd Belmont Stakes Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

I got walking around the stables this weekend and decided to interview Irish War Cry, runner-up at the 2017 Belmont Stakes.

Trained by H. Graham Motion and jockeyed by Rajiv Maragh, this New Jersey-born chestnut colt loves salt licks, Winstons, and is known for his cryptic orations of Yes lyrics while standing in line at the Garfield, New Jersey Wawa. He creeps out the competition with his monotone incantations of “Cause it’s time is time in time with your time and its news is captured...for the queen to use” while waiting to buy a pack of smokes.

In a narrowly-focused discussion, we mostly talk about Tom Seaver.

Clayton Trutor (CT): The single most victories Tom Seaver amassed in any one season was 25 in 1969.

Irish War Cry (IWC): Tom recorded 311 victories during his Major League Career.

CT: In September ’75, Tom put together a seven-game winning streak, including a near no-hitter against the Cubs. Just like in 1969, when the Cubs broke up a late season no-hitter that Tom had going.

IWC: That no-hitter in 1975 was broken up by Joe Wallis. That no-hitter in 1969 was broken up by that journeyman outfielder Jimmy Qualls.

CT: Wallis is an East St. Louis guy, just like Bryan Cox.

IWC: Nicknamed Tarzan because he liked cliff diving.

CT: Forget about Tarzan. I am more of a Tom Terrific man. My favorite Seaver season was when he won 22 games in 1975.

IWC: I’m a 1970 man m’self. He battled his way to 18 wins against 12 losses. He had 283 strikeouts that year. Not bad.

CT: Tom has been a friend of Nolan Ryan’s since they pitched in New York in the late 60s.

IWC: They’ve won more than 600 games if you combine the totals.

CT: Seaver would’ve won even more games if he hadn’t gotten hurt in the 1980 season when he was with the Reds. Missed most of the second half. It was almost as shocking as the Day the Music Died: June 15, 1977. The Day that Tom Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachary, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Don Norman.

IWC: 1980 was frustrating for Tom, but nowhere near as frustrating as 1983. The Mets scored 3 or fewer runs in 13 of his 14 losses that year.

CT: He was piddling with that weak team. Next year in Chicago he showed them what for. He won 15 games.

IWC: Wouldn’t have been piddling if he stuck with them. Won the World Series three years later.

CT: Not bad for a USC Trojan.

IWC: First one ever in the Hall of Fame.

CT: First Cy Young winner who didn’t win 20 games too.

IWC: 1973 baby.

CT: I loved when he got traded to the Red Sox in 1986. Not that far from his home in Greenwich, Connecticut.

IWC: That’s a lot closer to New York than Boston. That’s not himzizzes’ home neither. Tom Seaver is the embodiment of beautiful Fresno, California, where he was a standout high school baseball and basketball player. Spent his first two years of college at Fresno City College, where he earned all-conference honors.

CT: I am headed to Erbert and Gerbert’s. Are you coming with me or are you not?

IWC: Hop on me. We’ll get there quickerer.