Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Trying to embrace the Randy Myers year, but without the nastiness
The Mets are loudly celebrating their 50th season this year, but I’m being a little more sedate in celebrating my 48th, which arrives today.
Looking at the list of Mets who have worn No. 48 is not inspiring -- though it gives us some hope for the year ahead.
The essential “Mets by the Numbers” by John Springer and Matthew Silverman tells us that the team has issued the number 18 times, all to pitchers and coaches who used to be pitches – with the exception of Red Kress, a former shortstop who did, in fact, appear in four games as a pitcher.
Kress was a coach during the 1962 season and promptly died at its conclusion, becoming the first late Met.
Joe Nolan was a catcher with No. 48, but be never made it into a game during his very short stint with the team, so he doesn’t really count.
Others with 48 on their back included Nino Espinosa, Randy Tate, Juan Berenguer, Pete Schourek, Pedro Martinez – but not the one you’re thinking of – Glendon Rusch and Ed Glynn, who was perhaps more famous for being a Shea hot dog vendor before taking the mound.
Dan Murray’s 1999 Mets tenure was brief, but he’s one of three Murrays to appear on the team and offers hope that there’s an affordable, game-worn Murray Mets jersey out there.
Aaron “Bleeping” Heilman’s bad pitch to Yadier Molina is the reason I witnessed the Cardinals in Game One of the 2006 World Series in Detroit and not the beloved Mets. So we're not going to dedicate the year to him.
That leaves reliever Randy Myers. Famous for wearing camo when not clad in pinstripes, Myers had a couple fine seasons in the Mets pen, including 26 saves and a 1.72 ERA in 1988.
Fans were sad to see him go when Myers was traded to Cincinnati for John Franco, who became a Mets Hall of Famer.
Myers became one of Cincy’s fearsome “Nasty Boys” bullpen that was key to the team’s World Series win. And he set a then-National League record with 53 saves for the Cubs in 1993.
So I’ll try to navigate this year without the pain of Heilman, because we’ve had enough already. But I’ll take the lesson of Myers to heart. It might seem like things are going well, but a change of scenery might be what it takes to bring out the very best in me. But I’d like to avoid the camo, if possible.