Now that Shawn Green has let it be known he won’t be playing baseball for a living any longer, I can let it be known I rooted just a little extra harder for Shawn Green.
Not to the point that it clouded my judgment on his decreased offensive output, his limited mobility, his disappearance from the runs batted in column for nearly two months. I believe I viewed Shawn Green as just another Met where all that was concerned.
But I rooted just a little extra harder for Shawn Green. It made me happy he played for my team. I would have been happier had he played for my team five years sooner, but you can’t have everything.
He had his moments. He had an eleventh inning to remember at the end of June. He, like the Mets, enjoyed a very nice first two months of last season. He did his best fielding in the second inning of the first game of the 2006 NLDS, when Green to Valentin to Lo Duca produced the two most electrifying tags you’ll ever see at once.
Shawn Green also had this: According to the 2007 GourMets Cookbook, matzoh ball soup “is Shawn’s clubhouse favorite”. It makes me smile to think Shawn headed straight for a shissel of chicken broth and knaidlach right after walloping that walkoff homer off the Cards (and accepting his teammates’ heartiest congratulations), even if, as my friend Sharon (who passed this culinary tidbit along to me) noted, “From this I glean that a) Green is the only one who the authors realize is Jewish; b) you’re less likely to be embarrassed if your wife submits an actual recipe; and/or c) the clubhouse caterers put out a WEIRD postgame spread.”
None of it was a reason to keep Shawn Green on the Mets. None of it was a reason to look past the gathering horde of late-career deficiencies that turned him into a fourth outfielder/second first baseman before September. But Shawn being, as the back of the baseball card above (created by these folks) pointed out, “the premier Jewish ballplayer and Jewishly identified ballplayer of this generation” and a Met…well, I rooted just a little extra harder for him.
Soup for you, Shawn. You earned it.
(FYI, that’s Scott Schoeneweis on the other half of that card. His combination of Jewishness and Metsishness gives me no naches whatsoever.)