The Baseball Gods have given us Met fans a fun treat today. Two relievers whom evoke completely differently emotional responses share the same birthday. Since he used to set up for Wagner, it is only appropriate that we start with Guillermo Mota. Omar Minaya decided to trade for his services in 2006 after being designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians. He pitched well enough after being acquired, posting a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings, helping solidify the 8th inning. In the offseason, Mota got hit with a 50-game suspension for testing position for performance-enhancing drugs. Minaya decided to sign him to a 2-year deal despite this (apparently not putting together the reasoning behind his success). To no one’s surprise, he was terrible and was hated almost as soon as he stepped on the mound.
In 59.1 innings with the Mets, Mota posted an ugly 5.76 ERA and gave up 8 gopher balls. In November of 2007, Minaya parted ways with his investment and shipped him to the Brewers for Johnny Estrada. Thanks for PED-assisted 2006 Mota, and Happy 38th Birthday!
The Sandman (Flushing version) enters now as the birthday boy. Only in New York can the tabloids make a controversy out of music that closers choose. On November 29 of 2005, Billy Wagner was plucked off the free agent market to shore up our closer situation. Despite having a tendency to blow saves in important games (much like Trevor Hoffman), Wagner had a nice run with the Metropolitans. He had save totals of 40, 34, and 27 and his ERA never rose above 2.63. Happy Birthday Billy “The Kid” Wagner!