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G(r)eek Chorus, Part II

Posted By Jason Fry On March 17, 2005 @ 6:15 am In Main Page | Comments Disabled

I got a fortune cookie today, ate it and the fortune said this: HEY

STUPID — IF YOU THOUGHT TRACHSEL WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE

PLAYOFFS AND NOTHING, YOU WEREN'T MAKING THE PLAYOFFS ANYWAY.

How rude!

In less-weighty news, Angel Pagan, Ambiorix Concepcion, Mike Jacobs, Matt Lindstrom, Blake McGinley and Juan Padilla took that famous 300-yard walk. Wayne Lydon got relocated last week and escaped my notice. And Danny Garcia

got released, ensuring he'll beat us at least once whereever he lands.

I assume his being a redass, if I may go Harazin on you for a moment,

finally became a liability in Met eyes.

With the present suddenly murky, off to the past for solace in the form of Players 81-90. I always loved Jay Payton

even when he did little to earn that — I itched to put his baseball

card in the Holy Books for years (and many surgeries), celebrated his

every success when he finally did arrive, and managed to remain blind

to his faults after he stayed a while. (See also: Pulsipher, Bill.) To

me, the oddest thing about Payton is how he played his best

under huge pressure in the 2000 postseason — he rarely looked as good

on a lazy June night against, say, Cincy. Oh, and that catch in San

Francisco. He was as surprised and delighted as any Met fan watching on

TV, and he should've been.

I have trouble believing Timo Perez and Melvin Mora

weren't actually the same person — scrappy fill-in arrives late in

season, does next to nothing in regular season, then comes alive in

postseason. Sure, Timo was crowned King of Merengue, while Melvin

battled Taiwanese gamblers, became the father of quintuplets and

actually became a good baseball player, but … well, never mind, that

is quite a difference. In retrospect Mora was there for the first real,

undeniable hint that Roger Cedeno couldn't actually play baseball:

Remember how he basically had to threaten Cedeno into that key

double-steal against John Rocker and the Braves? As for Timo, well, run

dummy. Since the cameras are off, you know Derek Jeter is snickering

like Muttley about that one even now.

(Excuse me while I destroy something. I mean, goddamnit.)

Shawon Dunston forever earned a

place on any list of Mets not just for that wonderful weeklong at-bat,

but for his farewell address in the Mets clubhouse after our death

rattle against Atlanta. (Winning run: Gerald Williams, which is reason

enough to get rid of him.)

I can't find Lisa Olson's account of Dunston's speech from the Daily

News, which is a lovely piece of writing, but I remember for weeks

afterward I would read it and quietly weep to myself. (Bonilla and

Rickey won't remember that speech because they were playing cards.)

As for Matt Franco, I remember

not only his marvelous, life-affirming hit (and so what if it was

Strike Four), which came on the same day as Brandi Chastain and the

sports bra of triumph, but also his dinger to beat Pedro when his

nombre was Expo. Remember how Pedro sat in the dugout in disbelief

until they literally turned off the lights on him? Now that he's a Met

that's a beautiful example of his passion for the game, but at the time

it was just grounds for a good haw-haw. As for Matty's Atlanta tenure, let us never discuss it.

Kevin Elster was cool, but he

should have a pretty massive asterisk on that now-gone fielding record.

The man had the range of a stone pillar, albeit a pheromone-sodden

stone pillar women would rub themselves against while growling in their

throats. I'm probably just jealous. He also has one of the odder careers ever [1], leaping out of the baseball grave in '96 with the Rangers and then again in '00 with the Dodgers. Hey, can he pitch?


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[1] odder careers ever: http://www.baseball-reference.com/e/elsteke01.shtml

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