Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cycle Out The Door

I know that hitting for the Cycle is a rare and hallowed occurrence, and that there have only been 10 times now that a Met has done it. And maybe it's the horrendous outcome of the game that dampens my spirits, but for the most part, outside of, say, Keith Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Tommie Agee and John Olerud, for the most part it's been some really fringe, lousy players who have accomplished it for the Mets, and Scott Hairston just added his name to this list.

Of those for above, John Olerud is probably the least likely to have a cycle, as his notorious lack of speed made him an unlikely candidate for a triple, but sure enough, he legged one out in September of 1997. Jose Reyes, the most recent, on the other hand was a triples machine in his heyday and so it seemed to make sense that he'd pull off the feat, as he did in 1996 (Worth noting that Olerud hit for the cycle again with the Seattle Mariners, I want to say in 2001).

But this list is also peppered with names that would make you think, "Really?" I mean, Alex Ochoa? Mike Phillips? Eric Valent is the most galling on this list. In his time with the Mets, Valent proved himself barely worthy of a Major League uniform, and since leaving the Mets hasn't even come close to sniffing the Majors since then, perhaps a hallmark of the lesser players employed on Art Howe-era Mets teams.

Then, there's Hairston. Many in our loyal audience will know that there are always 2 or 3 players on the Mets every season whose presence utterly bewilders me. This list has included (but not limited to) David Newhan, Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Sele, Ricky Ledee, Mike DiFelice, Manny Acosta (I'll save the diatribe on him for another time) and Pat Misch. Scott Hairston is also on this list. The point has been made to me that he's a righty batter who hammers left-handed pitching, but that seems to be the only thing he does well. In his season plus with the Mets, he's barely distinguished himself as the kind of guy you'd like off the bench, his defense is porous at best, and more often than not I see him coming up to the plate and swinging like he's trying to hit the ball off the Whitestone Bridge. Of course, since he played like a house afire in Spring Training in 2011, management seemed to think he was a good guy to have around, and since nobody particularly better (or ready) has come along, he's still here, and he happened to run into History last night by hitting for the Cycle. This will, more than likely, be the first, last, and only noteworthy thing he does with the Mets. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong, and I'll have to backtrack on Hairston, but for some reason, I don't feel like I'll have to.

And if I do, you're next, Acosta.

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