Jose, we love you. Rest assured of that. Now, please keep working on working counts. Um, especially when the pitcher's walked three guys in the inning and the opposing manager doesn't have a reliever warm. Please, Jose?
But OK, yesterday's gone. In the New York Post, Kevin Kernan has a nice piece about Tim Hamulack, the Norfolk reliever we summoned to Phoenix but not, apparently, to the BOB, let alone the roster.
Stories like these are a bit of an obsession with me on two levels. Hamulack didn't quite achieve almost-Met status — guys who put on the uniform, made the roster and never got to play. We've got four of those: Jerry Moses in '75, Terrell Hansen in '93, Mac Suzuki in '99 and Justin Speier in '01. (We've rattled on about this before.) Joe Hietpas would be stuck on that list if not for the fact that he got to catch the final inning of 2004, the only good move Art Howe ever made. It looked like Mike Jacobs would be an almost-Met, but we know the rest of that story.
Of those guys, Hansen is the one I've never been able to stop thinking about: He got sent back down, knocked around the minors for another decade or so, but never got the call-up. Got a number (21), a baseball card, clubhouse time, a chance to loathe Jeff Torborg, but never a line in the Baseball Encyclopedia. I'm sure it bothered him that he never got a chance to play in '93, but he was young and had to figure his day would come. It never did. Hell, compared with Terrell Hansen, Moonlight Graham looks like a lucky guy.
Hamulack's a 6' 4″ lefty who can throw 95 and has held opponents to a .175 average. He's nearly 29 and has been in the minors for 10 years, without a single day in The Show. Sounds like a guy we could use in September. Sounds like a guy to root for.