Earlier this week, I received my 2015 Las Vegas 51s team set from Lake Country Minors. When I opened it and looked through the baseball cards, I was surprised at just how many familiar faces I found.
Sure, I expected to see Wally Backman and Frank Viola (though I wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of white in Backman’s mustache…)
And I knew I’d see some of the cast of characters that did their best to fill in this summer when the Mets’ regulars were out of the lineup with injuries…
along with some of the guys we hope will be important parts of the Mets’ future.
I just didn’t expect almost a third of the set to feature players who spent significant parts of the season in New York.
I’d like to thank Danny Muno, Darrell Ceciliani, Johnny Monell and Eric Campbell for making me appreciate the better players we get to watch play for the Mets in the home stretch of the NL East pennant race. I hope Jack Leathersich can make a successful recovery from Tommy John surgery, but I don’t want to see him pitch in the major leagues again until he can get his WHIP closer to 1.000 than 2.000.
I’ll be rooting for Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Logan Verrett and Kevin Plawecki over the season’s final weeks and hopefully well into October. I’ll be watching to see what Dilson Herrera can do next spring.
And maybe I’ll find myself rooting for Scott Rice and Wilfredo Tovar to get another crack at a major league roster next year, too. (Rice is a more likely bet of the pair – I have a soft spot for players who made it or made it back from the Atlantic League and lefty relievers always seem to find jobs somewhere. I suspect that Tovar is going to be one of those guys who never hits enough to stick in the majors.)
But for the first September in seven years, I’m not focusing on prospects and “next year.”
I’m looking forward to the most exciting Subway Series since October 2000…and I hope that this weekend’s turns out better for the Mets than the one that made me back into a baseball fan. And after that? Who knows what could happen…
Let’s go Mets!