Time to dip into the folder of Mets autograph scans I haven’t gotten around to posting yet:
McKay Christensen‘s New York Mets career was over before most people knew he was there. He had just three at-bats in four games in the opening week of the 2002 season. The sixth overall pick in the 1994 amateur draft appeared in just 99 games in the major leagues between 1999 and 2002, and he never played in the majors at all for the organization that drafted him – the Anaheim Angels.
“If I have one regret it’s that I didn’t play college football and maybe beyond,” he says. “Football was more of a passion for me than baseball, and it came more naturally. It was not my favorite sport.”
Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that baseball didn’t quite work out for him.
My Signature Rookies autographed insert card was purchased for 50 cents. For the modern era, Christensen has very few baseball cards and almost all date back to his draft pick/prospect era. Only eight show him with the Chicago White Sox and none picture him as a Dodger or Met.
Current Mets bench coach Bob Geren played for the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres during his five-year career from 1988-1993. He caught Andy Hawkins‘ losing no-hitter in 1990, though it was later removed from the record books by a rules change because the Yankees were playing on the road so Hawkins was not able to pitch the ninth inning. Geren later went on to manage the Oakland Athletics from 2007-2011.
He’s right about the need to move forward, and he’s probably right about the team being better than people think. The Las Vegas odds makers have fairly low expectations for the 2012 New York Mets. According to MetsBlog, they set the over-under line at 70.5 yesterday.
The 2009 Mets were – just – bad enough to miss the “over” side of that line with 70 wins. The 66-victory squad of 2003 would solidly land on the “under” side. Before that, you’d have to go all the way back to the dreadful 1993 team that lost 103 games to find a Mets squad that didn’t win at least 71 games in a non-strike season.
Now I’m not expecting miracles from the 2012 New York Mets, but they’re not going to be as bad as that 1993 team. And even if they are, I made it through watching those team in 1993, 2003 and 2009. There were a lot of bad days, but there were just enough good ones sprinkled in to make me believe that something good might happen or that there were better days coming. I just hope those better days get here soon this time.