Happy Tax Day
Yes, I will be one of the idiots rushing to see my accountant, wincing at the figures I owe, then rushing to get envelopes postmarked before the extended-hours post office closes. Hope most of you were smart enough to get your returns in early and are able to laugh at people like me.
Besides being “tax day”, it’s also Jackie Robinson Day, which means everyone on the Mets will be wearing #42. This is a nice gesture, but it sort of complicates the old line, “… you can’t tell these guys without a scorecard”. Luckily we are overwhelmed by media images of our beloved Mets in this day and age, to the point where most of us can identify Carlos Muniz at the Queens Plaza Flea Market.
Today is also the birthday of Jeromy Burnitz, one of those rare two-time Mets. Not rare among two-time Mets is the fact we was awful in both stints. Still, I enjoyed watching Jeromy in his second go-around, particularly for his hard-nosed play, hustle, and the ability to hit the ball harder than anyone else during batting practice. That whole one strikeout every three times up thing, though, was a bit disturbing.
Finally, on this day in 1979, the Mets signed a slick fielding, 15-year-old shortstop named Jose Oquendo. Yeah, you got that right — he was 15 years old when the Mets discovered him in Puerto Rico. Oquendo made it to the Majors four years later, at the age of 19, and was supposed to be … well, the player Jose Reyes turned out to be. Although the first Jose was an incredibly gifted shortstop with a rifle arm, Oquendo was initially such a terrible hitter there was talk of establishing an “Oquendo Line” just hair above the “Mendoza Line”. The Mets shipped the good-field, no-hit shortstop off to St. Louis for a bag of balls, and he immediately became a good-hit, no-field supersub who was put into several positions just to get his bat into the lineup. Go figure.