1-29-13 – Michael Baron, 2014, Ed Bouchee, Izzy Powell, Amos Otis


13 days until pitchers and catchers officially report to Port St. Lucie

As I’ve written before, I’m sick of the losing. There’s no doubt about it, and I am certainly a weathered Mets fan as a result of it. But I’m more frustrated with what led to this problem, and I am onboard with what is going on to try and fix this. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, even though I sometimes wish Alderson could snap his fingers and correct the issue. But while the scaffolding is still up, the building is starting to take shape, and that’s pretty exciting. I am glad Sandy Alderson is not only dedicated to fixing the problem, but is sticking with his plan, even if it means he has to pass on immediate fixes now. If the Mets can get their organization to the point both the Braves and Nationals have been able to, it’s going to be a lot of fun these three teams for many years to come.

Michael and I have spoken about this for the past two years and we are both on the same page. This team will become a playoff contender in 2014 and one of a hand full of teams that will be projected to play in the 2015 World Series, regardless of who plays in their outfield. This is a team being built around top pitching, some of which won’t arrive until 2015. The Dickey deal may go down in history as the top ever made by the Mets.

Ed Bouchee wrote the first draft of Bad Stuff ’Bout The Mets. If he’d hung around a little longer, one assumes he would’ve found fault with Mr. Met (“just a ball hog with a big head”). Whatever merit there was in the man’s observations — Casey was not necessarily revered by every single Met; Gil was on the last legs of a brilliant career by the time he arrived at the Polo Grounds; and we Mets fans, no matter how sweet-natured our collective disposition, are inherently incapable of suppressing our more unflattering opinions — it can’t be ignored that Ed Bouchee was a .161 hitter in 50 games as a 1962 Met. Even on the 1962 Mets, that was pretty lousy. No Met position player who got into that many games that year recorded so low an average. Ed Bouchee died last week at the age of 79, making him the eighth of fourteen Originals from the Mets’ first box score to have passed on. True, he left behind a light statistical legacy and a few sour grapes, but I invoke him here out of a degree of respect. One of the sentiments attributed to him in Peary’s book I still find pretty solid:

The 5-month-old daughter of Mets catcher Landon Powell has died. The family said on its Facebook page that Izzy Powell died Friday night of an immune disease that attacked her liver and bone marrow. The family wrote in a post Saturday that she "fought until the end" and "her life served a great purpose in her short 5 months on this earth."

Amos Joseph Otis was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fifth round of the 1965 amateur draft.  After playing in the Red Sox minor league system for two seasons, Otis was selected by the Mets in the December 1966 minor league draft and sent to AAA-Jacksonville to start the 1967 season.  Otis played well in Jacksonville, batting .268 with 21 extra-base hits in 126 games.  But the best part of his game was his speed, as Otis swiped 29 bases in 34 attempts for the Suns.  His successful season in the minors earned Otis his first call-up to the big leagues in September.  But in 19 games with the Mets, his minor league success failed to translate at the big league level, as Otis hit .220 with two doubles and one RBI.  He also was thrown out in all four of his stolen base attempts.

                     The Mets did make a mistake on this one, but every team makes them once in awhile. Right now, with the current outfield situation, Mets writers are reaching back and telling great stories about past outfielders that roamed Shea Stadium. Me? To be honest, if I could I would switch current teams/countries with the current projected opening day Mets outfield and give Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, and Fernando Martinez another go.


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