Mets Say Goodbye to only Power Hitter They’ve Had in 3 Decades

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, November 5.

In an act of perfidy that surprised absolutely nobody, the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes has opted out of the last two years of his contract. Can any of you see the comparison to Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter books? If not, imagine Cespedes’ body with a rat’s face on it.

Some of us have been in this spot. We’ve been dating somebody way out of our league and we can tell the other person is losing interest. but no matter how much it is telegraphed it still hurts when he or she says once and for all  “Adios,” and “I want my CD’s back.”  That’s what Cespedes represents to the Mets and what he has told them by  opting out.
This was a much better game when the players couldn’t defy contracts they had signed as Cespedes is doing.
While Cespedes speaks no English, he may think of the team as a sinking ship. Consider, every starter except Noah Syndergaard had serious arm injury issues during 2016 and nobody knows how any of them will bounce back. The optimist sees Harvey, Matz, DeGrom and Wheeler as the modern 1971 Orioles pitching staff.   But the pesimist remembers Bobby Parnell whose elbow failed to bounce back. He got hammered when he did pitch and now he’s out of the game.  If all the Mets’ starters are Bobby  Parnells, the team  will be in worse shape than the Yankees, and that’s saying something.

The Mets are saying the predictable thing, that they are seeking a power hitter from outside the organization.  But too many of those they’ve gotten haven’t panned out-George Foster, Bobby Bonilla, Jay Peyton, Jason Bay, Jay Bruce and too many more to mention. Looking around Facebook and the TwitterVerse,  the response I’ve seen has been more apathetic resignation as opposed to the outrage Mets’ fans felt when they thought they might lose Cespedes in 2016.  At that time, coming off a lost World Series that Mets’ fans felt they could have won with a tighter defense, it seemed unthinkable that Cespedes could want out of a city where he was well loved, if not worshiped. Other men opting out include Edinson Volquez and Kendrys Morales, both of whom were part of the 2015 Royals’ World Series team.

On a happier note, incredible numbers of Cubs fans turned out in yesterday morning’s victory parade. Talk about crowds. Woodstock? Schmoodstock, as one of my old pals would say. Indy 500 crowds? Forget about it. You’re talking about 10 Woodstocks, yes 5 million people according to harried city officials were on hand in downtown Chicago. The city only had_ a population of some 2 million in 1908 when 3 Finger Brown and Orval Overall (yes that was his name) were the Cubs’ ace pitchers. Digression alert: Can you imagine what money Orval Overall could make today endorsing overalls? He struck out 10 men in a game in 1908 which no Cubs’ pitcher came close to doing 108 years later.   Overall  quit at the peak of his powers with a 108-71 record, and died in 1947, two years after the Cubs’ last World Series until this year.

The Rockies’ Jon Gray is 25 today. His record is similar to most men who make their living at Coors Canaveral-10 wins, 12 losses and an ERA close to 5.0. He was the Rockies’ first pick in 2013, a year where they had the third overall pick in the draft. In years past He was drafted by both the Royals and Yankees, and chose to go to college at University of Oklahoma instead of signing with either pro organization.

Former center fielder Johnny Damon is 43 today. He hit .284 with almost 2800 hits between 1995 and 2012. He was an All-Star twice, both while with the Red Sox.  His 2004 Red Sox and 2009 Yankees won the World Series. He is a father of 8, which may be a partial explanation for appearing on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and “Tanked,” a show on Animal Planet. No, “Tanked” is not a tell-all movie about the drinking lives of Kevin Millar and the other 2004 Red Sox.

While this doesn’t directly_ have to do with baseball, Tatum O’Neal is 53 today. She’s my age. I couldn’t have been the only teenage lad to have a crush on her when she  played Amanda in “Bad News Bears.” She was in fact Michael Jackson’s first girl friend.  She reportedly made him an offer almost no normal teenage boy could refuse but was turned down cold. (but since when was Michael Jackson considered normal?)    O’Neal  later married the mercurial tennis player John McEnroe, a union that lasted some 8 years-a lifetime as Hollywood marriages go. She has written two memoirs about her all too Hollywood life.


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