The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Joel Guzman as an international free agent in 2001. Four years later, Baseball America ranked him as the fifth-best prospect in the game.
Yesterday’s mail brought a signed baseball card of former New York Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla.
Quintanilla will never be remembered for the stats on the back of his baseball card – he has a .220 lifetime average with 8 home runs and 74 RBI in 402 major league games over nine seasons.
Now he did have his moments, with the odd game-winning hit here or there… but on-field accomplishments are only one reason to appreciate a baseball player.
When I remember Quintanilla, I will think of the times he signed autographs for fans at Citi Field on days when the “better” players wouldn’t even stop long enough to wave. And I’m not the only one who remembers Quintanilla for his fan-friendly attitude.
When I posted a photo of my signed card on Twitter yesterday, I got this response:
Best of luck to Omar Quintanilla on the Albuquerque Isotopes this year.
I got to watch my first full Mets game of the season last night, aided by a timely rain delay that allowed me to get home from a meeting before the first out was recorded. And the Mets cooperated by getting that first loss of 2015 out of the way.
There’s been a lot of griping about the batting order Terry Collins has used over the first two games of the season, and I admit it’s not the one I’d write down if I were filling out the lineup cards. I’ll chalk up the lack of offense in the first two games to facing great pitching, but if the struggles continue in Atlanta I’m going to be concerned.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the botched rundown play in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sure, it didn’t cost the Mets a run… but it was bad fundamental baseball – what exactly were the Mets working on in Port St. Lucie for the last six weeks?
Congratulations to former Mets farmhand Allan Dykstra, who was called up by the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday when 1B James Loney went on the disabled list.
Joe Maddon surprised a lot of people yesterday by exercising his option to get out of the last year of his contract to manage the Tampa Bay Rays. By doing so, he instantly became baseball’s most talked-about free agent.
Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon immediately shot down the idea that his team would be pursuing Maddon.
New York Post sports columnist Mike Vaccaro to echo the thoughts of many Mets fans when he wrote:
As of right now, immediately, it really doesn’t matter what promises Sandy Alderson made to Terry Collins. Because as of right now, immediately, Alderson has it within his grasp to make a move that would be the first legitimate game-changer on his watch as general manager of the Mets.