Calling Dr. Peterson, calling Dr. Peterson. New project possibly arriving at the emergency entrance…
Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii? I like it and I don't like it. I like
that, if it's true, the Mets aren't settling for the Ginteriffic
choices in their midst. I don't like it because:
* Apparently Ishii's been walking the West Coast while the civilized world sleeps;
* A correspondent suggested Thursday that “there are only two kinds of
starters you can obtain in trades at this time of year: (a) injured
ones and (b) bad ones.” I don't know if he's right, but that sure
sounds like us;
* Jason Phillips is teasing us in with his monumental spring and I've been buying it;
* Next to Reyes, Jason Phillips emerged out of the muck of 2003 as my
favorite Met of the moment. That wore off last September when during
the Victor Diaz game (before it was the Victor Diaz game), the most
glacial man in the bigs — Magadan 3.0, if you will — was on third in
a bases-loaded situation. With one out, Gerald Williams lifted a deep
fly to left, the kind of ball on which even Jason Phillips can score.
Except Jason Phillips had gone halfway and was in no position to tag
up. Mets left the bags drunk. Oh, and the night before? He was tagged
out on a throw 10 feet to the right of home. I swore off Jason Phillips
once and for all after those feats of baseball inertia. But I can't
stay mad at the guy for long. Still, an established starter for a
backup catcher? Shoot, do it.
As for filling the backstop caddy void, crap, Vance Wilson's looking
pretty good right now. No, I take that back. I also take back the
thought that flashed through my head when I saw Al Leiter threw four
scoreless innings Friday. “Man, that wouldn't be too bad to have now.”
No, it would be. “Hey,
Yusmeiro! We don't listen to that stuff in The Show. Gimme that iPod
and I'll download some Ray Conniff Singers for you. Then I'll take you
to get your hair cut just like mine.” No thank you.
Not many loose ends dangling from Nos. 80-61. The moment I typed in the name Ed Charles I thought of that picture, too. In the summer of '89, Newsweek
found cause to run it. Stephanie sent it to me and it hung over my desk
for several years. And I'll bet I know the shot of Seaver and Gentry.
They're surveying the damage done to Shea after The Big One, right? I
know a guy who was living in Arizona six years ago and was working at a
discount cigarettes outlet. One of his steadiest customers was the very
same Gary Gentry. He had a standing order for cartons of Marlboros. I hope nobody winds up surveying the damage done to Gary Gentry's lungs.
Your wife has filed an official and reasonable protest over the inclusion of Bobby Bonilla in
any list using the words “Greatest” and “Mets”. I'll tell you what I
told her: Take 668 Mets (the number of 'Ropolitans through the first
forty years) and start whittling it down to a hundred. What should
happen is that it's agonizing to pare and trim and make life-or-death
decisions. That's not what happened at all. This franchise has been
larded with Bautas and Bucheks and Boitanos. You get through crossing
those off and even a charitable reading of Mets history leaves you with
like 125 guys. From there, it was really a matter of symbolism versus
accomplishment, and as much as I liked Shinjo's wristbands and the
Stork's nickname, I couldn't really pass on a two-time All-Star even if
he was an all-time jerk.
Tsuyoshi and Theodore and everybody else whose claim to Met greatness
is they had that certain something that resonated in our tribe will
continue to be represented by M.E.T., Marvin Eugene Throneberry, the patron saint of the fairly futile but lavishly lovable.
“Think about baseball” is what they tell you you should do when your thoughts are where they shouldn't be. In those situations, Dave Magadan
leaps to mind. It may be the only leaping he's ever done. I don't mean
to downgrade his appeal off the field to others, but the only thing
about him that struck me as steamy was his bat that June.
Jason Phillips may replace him in this role if Mo Vaughn hasn't already.