Like the Mets, I napped through a good portion of Tuesday night's game with the Braves. Most of the baseball I saw came later in the evening after I (unlike the Mets) shook off my slumber. On a night when a division was clinched, a collapse continued and a couple of resurrections ensued, you know the most amazing thing I saw?
Manny Alexander is on the Padres.
Remember Manny Alexander on the Mets? He was here for two-thirds of a season nine years ago. When we got him in the spring of 1997 from Baltimore — trying to succeed Cal Ripken was wrecking him — I was certain he was going to be an important utilityman. Got into 54 games, hit .248, stole 11 bases in 11 attempts, spent some time on the DL and was shipped to Chicago in the Mel Rojas or Brian McRae or Turk Wendell deal, depending on how you like to define it. That was Steve Phillips' first trade as GM.
I'd say I lost track of Manny Alexander, though that would imply I'd attempted to stay on top of his whereabouts. After the Cubs, where he was buddies with Sammy Sosa, he floated to the Red Sox when they were between playoff appearances and then toured leagues minor and Mexican with several organizations until landing with Texas in 2004. He was with the Padres last year and has been hanging around San Diego since August 20. He seems to be batting .176.
A pennant race brings out the Mets in everybody. When Oakland celebrated in Seattle, two Athletics who seemed pretty happy to be A.L. West champs were Jay Payton and Marco Scutaro. The Astros are being kept alive with a little help from Dan Wheeler. The Phillies have Rick White warming in the pen just about every inning or about as often as David Weathers seems to pitch for the Reds. There's a Marlon Anderson here, a Jason Tyner there, a Vance Wilson of all things somewhere else. Preston Wilson and Jose Vizcaino haven't prevented the Cardinals from crashing — in fact, Braden Looper seems to be facilitating the process. Meanwhile, Mike Cameron and Mike Piazza are propping up the Padres.
Them and Manny Alexander, disappeared from the Metsopotamian consciousness since 1997. He's on a first-place club, for goodness sake, one we might see in the playoffs. Rojas, McRae and Wendell are all long retired.
He's also outlasted Steve Phillips in terms of Major League employment by three seasons.