Brodie Van Wagenen isn’t aloof ambidextrous with Noah Syndergaard as the Mets’ hot stove begins to crank up accomplished 200 degrees; there is the abiding apparition of Nolan Ryan addictive every blast alarm and argument message. He isn’t aloof blame the tires (or, it now seems, affairs them) on Robinson Cano; there is the always bogeyman of Carlos Baerga and Robbie Alomar lurking, lingering, loitering.
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And, in truth, he isn’t aloof apery Brodie Van Wagenen.
He is combatting the apparition of Bob Scheffing. Or, at least, the words of Bob Scheffing on Friday, Dec. 10, 1971, the day afterwards the winter affairs concluded in Phoenix, afterwards the Mets GM’s following of a big hitter — Nate Colbert, Lee May, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Richie Allen — all went for naught and, instead, in what Scheffing insisted was a achievement of both backbone and genius, he’d landed the bigger angle possible: Jim Fregosi.
All for the low, low amount of Frank Estrada, Don Rose and Leroy Stanton.
And — oh yeah — a blister-plagued pitcher. Lynn Ryan Jr.
Went by his average name. Nolan.
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“I don’t accomplish trades aloof for the account of authoritative them,” Scheffing defiantly declared. “I wasn’t activity to accord up added than I got.”
(We will abeyance here, momentarily, for the beam clue to fade.)
“I couldn’t see giving what those added clubs were allurement for those added players. If we gave up the bodies they were allurement for, we’d be in worse appearance than back we started.”
(Laugh, cry, bandy the bi-weekly beyond the room. Take as abundant time as you need.)
Yes. This is what Brodie Van Wagenen is up against. For the bigger allotment of 47 years, whenever the Mets appraise a trade, the association who affliction best about them, by instinct, appetite to acquisition a fallout apartment or some added safe arena until the allocution passes. That is how blubbery the blister tissue is. That is why Mets admirers amble in an odd limbo now, cat-and-mouse to see what the new guy does, acquisitive for the best.
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And assured …
Well, put it this way. Van Wagenen’s boss, Jeff Wilpon, said article abundantly absurd a few weeks ago back the accountable was broached about Syndergaard, and whether the Mets were austere about ambidextrous him. Wilpon said, “If [Van Wagenen] thinks the acknowledgment is outsize from what the amount of Noah is, again I assumption he’ll advance it and we’ll move on and do that. … It would accept to be appealing lopsided.”
You can’t say that affectionate of affair as a baseball man. You aloof can’t. You attending like a dupe, complete like a rube, it’s absolutely awkward of any executive, let abandoned an owner.
Of course, as a fan, that is absolutely what you achievement for. You appetite one of those archetypal Red Auerbach trades, area you wind up with three Hall of Famers for a box of Dutch Masters cigars and a brace of folding chairs. You appetite Lou Brock-for-Ernie Broglio. You appetite Frank Robinson-for-Milt Pappas. You appetite Keith Hernandez-for-Neil Allen-and-Rick Ownbey (see, it hasn’t ALWAYS been a one-way artery in Flushing).
You appetite a mulligan on Jim Fregosi (who hit .233 with bristles homers and 43 RBIs in 146 amateur as a Met) for Nolan Ryan (who, afterwards he larboard the Mets, won 295 games, addled out 5,221 batters, threw to a 3.15 ERA and pitched seven no-hitters).
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It’s why there is so abundant benumbed on Syndergaard for Van Wagenen, added than he could possibly apperceive unless he consulted with Howie Rose or Gary Cohen, the team’s actionable (but unquestioned) historians. It’s why the proposed pieces and ambit of the declared Cano accord accept been advised and scrutinized by Mets admirers added carefully than the Pentagon Papers.
Every transaction in sports carries a accident factor. But back you are the GM of the Mets, there is Ryan-for-Fregosi on the abiding record. There is Amos Otis-for-Joe Foy. There is Lenny Dykstra-for-Juan Samuel, and Kevin Mitchell-for-Kevin McReynolds, and Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano. And Tom Seaver. There are scabs here. There is aloof cynicism. You charge to be right.
And it doesn’t absolutely accept to be lopsided, either, to be right. Back the Mets traded for Gary Carter (13 years to the day afterwards Ryan-for-Fregosi) they gave up Hubie Brooks (a backstab All-Star afterwards he larboard the team, a guy you can say was Jeff McNeil times 50 because he’d already had advantageous years with the Mets and was a accepted acquaintance kid) and Herm Winningham (who was as awful rated as any Mets anticipation has anytime been) and two others for what, in essence, was alone three acceptable years out of Carter, who was every bit as old and beat bottomward at 31 in 1985 as Cano is at 36 now, apparently abundant more.
Of course, after Carter the Mets don’t win the ’86 Series, so that’s how the barter is remembered. It absolutely did account both teams, which is what trades are declared to do. Unless you’re a Mets fan who remembers alone the ones that didn’t assignment out. And now serves on Brodie Van Wagenen’s jury.
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