Monday, July 31, 2006

Pessimism never works.

That's the slogan on a t-shirt I'm thinking of buying. Yes, I was convinced that the Mets would go to Atlanta carefree and cocky, and leave saddened and swept. I just knew that the Ray Gliers of the world would pound their keyboards, proclaiming the resurgence of the rightful NL East champs and lauding the unsurpassable genius of Schuerholz and Cox.

Well, it kinda went the other way. Yes, Braves fans, I'll grant that your DL resembled the Roll of Honor from the Battle of the Somme while ours was a mere four names, one of whom, Victor Zambrano, arguably constituted addition by subtraction. Nevertheless, it does feel good.

Ah, but the life of a Mets fan has few stretches of unrelieved joy. In the process of moving the road show to Miami, ace setup man Duaner Sanchez boarded a cab that promptly got into a smash-up, separating Sanchez's shoulder. To plug this breach in their bullpen, the Mets gave up Xavier Nady, who has done yeoman service in right field and at the plate. In return, the Pirates gave back to the Mets (who let him go in the off-season) Roberto Hernandez, who comes with a respectable 2.93 ERA and some experience of pitching at Shea, as well as 41 years under his belt. Oh, yes, we also got a starter, Oliver Perez, who had a great season two years ago, has since collapsed, and is optioned to Norfolk.

As for right field, Lastings Milledge will return from the minors to share that space with Endy Chavez, another of the Mets' surprising yeomen of the season. (I can recall seeing Endy's brother, Ender, playing center field for the Brooklyn Cyclones a couple of seasons ago. Endy, Ender. What is it with the name game in Venezuela, the country that also gave us siblings Edgardo and Edgar Alfonso?) Anyway, it looks like we'll get to see this season whether Tim Marchman's misgivings about young Milledge's potential are well founded.