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The Second-Craziest F#?king Thing I’ve Ever Heard

25 November 2009

Regular readers of this blog might recall my recounting — check that, my buddy Seth’s recounting — of The Omir Santos Incident.

With the game hanging in the balance, Mets Manager Jerry Manuel summoned Santos, owner of a career .650 OPS in the minor leagues, to pinch-hit with two outs and a chance to win it.

As Seth, a big Mets fan, screamed:

650 CAREER MINOR LEAGUE OPS!
he hits one grand slam and all of a sudden he’s carlton fucking fisk.
i almost always a) have patience with managers and b) give them the benefit of the doubt.
jerry manuel should be fired. today.
i am actually eating the stressball in my office.
i think i need a doughnut.

But wait, there was more. Santos wasn’t just brought in cold from the bench. Manuel summoned Santos from the bullpen, where he was warming up a pitcher. It took a good three minutes for Santos to pull off all his catcher’s gear, grab a bat, take some practice swings and scurry to the plate. Major League Baseball decided that this wasn’t just a colossally stupid move by the Mets manager. It was also, somehow, a nefarious attempt to ice Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom. So MLB fined the Mets for the move. Fined them! As I wrote at the time, to paraphrase Sir Dr. Stephen Colbert, DFA, this was The Craziest F#?king Thing I’d Ever Heard.

But wait, there’s more!

Matt Wieters is a supremely talented catcher who had a solid if unspectacular rookie season. Still, his performance was clearly the best by any rookie this year, a nearly 2-win performance according to FanGraphs. So when Topps released its All-Rookie Team today (h/t Baseball Think Factory), you had to figure that Wieters would get the call behind the plate.

Nope. Topps scoured the major league landscape, evaluated all rookie performances, and finally found their man.

Omir Santos.

Punting the game by pinch-hitting with a guy in the bullpen who’s spent his entire adult life proving he can’t hit a baseball? That’s ludicrous.

Fining the person who made the move by arguing that he was somehow trying to gain an advantage for his team? That’s The Craziest F#?king Thing I’ve Ever Heard.

Naming that same no-hit wonder to an All-Rookie team? That’s The Second-Craziest F#?king Thing I’ve Ever Heard.

UPDATE: Friend of the site, Beyond The Boxscore honcho and Baseball Prospectus contributor Tommy Bennett apparently read my mind. As I was composing this post, he sent this preposterous .jpeg along.

Oh, Omar Santos. We can’t quit you.

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