THEN & NOW: Collin Cowgill & Andrew Brown (What We Said Then, What We Think Now)

THEN & NOW: A recreation of an old family photograph: hysterical, disturbing, bizarre (our 3 favorite things!).

THEN & NOW: A recreation of an old family photograph: hysterical, disturbing, bizarre (our 3 favorite things!).


Welcome to the latest installment of our award-winning “THEN & NOW” series, where we look at what we said then . . . and what we think now. Once again, we prove how much fun history can be.


thenAndNowFrontOn February 18, 2013, we discussed Collin Cowgill in 2 Guys Talking: Is Collin Cowgill Really the Next Lenny Dykstra?:

The Mets were selling Cowgill hard, Jimmy, but you weren’t buying. You said the following:

By age 26, in his 5th year for the Mets, Cashen traded Dykstra to Philadelphia in one of the most misguided trades in Mets history. Collin Cowgill turns 27 this May. In the sum total of his MLB career, Cowgill has slugged .311 in 196 ABs. That reads for XBH: 2 homers, 5 doubles. For speed: 7 SBs, 6 CS — so statistically he’s better off not going at all. Billy Beane, nobody’s fool, gave up Cowgill in a trade for 22-year-old prospect, Jefrey Marte.

So the Dykstra talk seems ludicrous.

As much as I enjoy disagreeing with you I couldn’t do it that day. I finished up the post with my own Cowgill comparison.

The big problem is that when I hear people talk about Cowgill the guy who keeps popping into my head is Bill Pecota.

Weren’t we all just going to love him once?

So the good news, if you can call it that, was that neither of us felt let down by Cowgill.


Yeah, this was a case where we were actually right. Our opinions never changed. Though even I was surprised at how quickly Collins soured on him. Cowgill had a bad week and he was history. He’s what I think of as the “ALL-INTANGIBLES” type player. He’s awesome in every way that can’t possibly be measured — in a sport that measures everything. He hustled, “played the game right,” seemed energetic and involved, and so on. Ultimately, I think he would make a terrific camp counselor.

Another guy from that wild, madcap, heady time of free agency signings — ah, the crazy, hell-for-leather winter of 2012-13 — was Andrew Brown.

Mike, you wrote of your first impression:

With Scott Hairston gone we could really use a right-handed bat with some pop. This role looks like Brown’s job to lose. My first impression of Brown is that he might lose it anyway. On a team saddled with Lucas Duda, Brown is another plodder. That bat looks slow to me also, slider speed. If you can’t handle a major league fastball, you can’t be a good pinch hitter. If Brown can’t pinch hit, he needs to get cut.

As for my part, I was unfair from the beginning, and in full snark mode wrote on March 1st about my first Brown sighting:

In RF, I saw a big guy lumbering in the direction of a high fly ball — it hung forever, but he didn’t get there — and knew I had spotted Andrew Brown. It wasn’t exactly a blur. Fortunately, Brown strikes out a lot, so the lack of speed shouldn’t be a problem (or: the problem) on the offensive side. 

Sigh. I’m such a failed human being.


The truth is, Andrew Brown grew on me as the season went on. Getting back to your initial comment, I think he’s the type of player (if not the exact player) I like on the bench, should things fall out that way, though I can’t honestly make a logical argument in favor of it (.227/.288/.400 in 150 ABs, with 7 HRs).


A year ago I saw Brown as organizational filler, the type of guy who gets major league at bats on a bad team. One year later my view of Brown is that he is organizational filler, the type of guy who gets major league at-bats on a bad team. I hope he is in Las Vegas in 2014 or in another organization.


Speaking of Vegas, Mr. Brown had exactly three more ABs there and put up these numbers: .346/.432/.660 for an OPS of six bazillion. In fact, he’s been tearing up the minor leagues for the past 3-4 years, just a monster. I never really liked the term “AAAA player,” and I’d hate to make Mr. Brown frown, but, alas.

All that said, I still kind of like him for unaccountable reasons.


The signing of Chris Young is a positive step in this direction. Cowgill, Brown, Baxter, Niewhenhuis, we had so many guys that saw time in our outfield who were not major league players. Young is an upgrade over these guys.


Ah, sigh. You have to jump through some hoops to get there, abandon all hope ye, but, yes, Chris Young is a professional baseball player with significant upside. Given the dire circumstances, I guess he makes sense. Combined with a carefully orchestrated series of moves, Chris Young could help out in the year 2014 of our Lord. Hopefully at some point the farm system can produce guys who can give us this kind of production. Cesar Puello, my fingers are crossed.

The next, best hope?

The next, best hope?


















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  1. Eric says:

    No Comment

  2. James Preller says:


  3. RAFF says:

    Someday, I’ll be grizzled & worn. I will regale my grandchildren with reminiscences of hardship, perseverance, enduring pain, and sacrifice. They will come to honor our vigil during this dark time. Huddled together over the long brutal winters, soothing ourselves with stories, over and over, about Collin Cowgill, Andrew Brown, and their ilk. Our suffering will be their glory.

  4. I was hoping you would tell me what you think about my pitching proposal. I’ve made a few adjustments over the last couple of days, and see this as our best chance to contend this year. All of our resources can be spent on offense with this staff.

    Gee, 100 pitches( Parnell-9th, Black 8th, German 7th, J. Walters and Edgin)
    Noah 80 pitches + Mejia 70 pitches, will end in 9 half the time
    Wheeler 90 pitches( Parnell-9th, Black 8th, German 7th, J. Walters and Edgin)
    Montero 80 pitches+ Tores 70 pitches will end in 9 half the time
    Niese 100 pitches( Parnell-9th, Black 8th, German 7th, J. Walters and Edgin)
    Day off.

    I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. That was done 10 some odd years ago when pitching counts became gospel. All I’m doing is stategizing with that being the case. Conventionally, you have 6 pitchers designed for 5 roles. 5 starters and 1 long relief guy makes up a rotation. In the above plan 7 pitchers design these 5 roles. 5 starters and 2 long relief pitchers. The biggest difference being, my long relief guys have there appearences scheduled. 1000 IP from these 7 pitchers is likely.

    A) Our top 3 starters will have the best rested bullpen in MLB
    B) Thor’s got a 130 IP limit, and not a one will be wasted in Vegas.
    C) Each of our blue chips will be handled with care, like ROY Alex Fernandez
    D) If we contend, the combos roles can be reversed, if needed, to save IP for PS
    E) Showcasing 7 starting pitchers while setting them up for optimum MLB success exponentially raises the value of the commodities that shine. It also gives the organization a better idea of who Harvey will take with to the promise land in the years to come. Lastly, normally 5 IP guys wrench your pen, in this scenario they rest the pen.

    I am searching for a winner and see one built around our pitching richness. As of now all pitchers are reportedly healthy, we should take advantage of this and make a run. If the plan, Montero in April and Noah in july, is in effect, than the only negative $$$ thing is starting the clock on Noah 3 months earlier than scheduled.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      The only flaw is that once somebody lays an egg or comes in with the stomach flu everything is disrupted. They are not robots and the map can’t be so exact, it simply does not work that way.

    • Mel, there’s things I like about your concepts, and things that I feel are unrealistic, unworkable.

      Most importantly, I love the idea of using our best pitchers to throw in Flushing. Syndergaard and Montero, yes, it’s time.

      Look at the Oakland A’s — a comparable small market team — that used an entire staff of rookie pitchers in 2012. Yet here are the Mets, seemingly afraid of bringing up Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero as if they were Faberge Eggs.

      The tone of the organization would shift right there, it would be exciting and interesting and forward-thinking. Also, I think it would work.

      You seem to be concerned about pitch counts and innings. I don’t see that as of primary importance. Given that the current standard thinking is that a pitcher should not jump beyond 30-35 innings a season, that puts Montero at 185-190 and Syndergaard at 150. Great, let’s use those bullets where they count, not in Vegas. When it’s time to shut them down, do it. As for pitch counts, follow the normal guidelines used by everybody else, be extremely cautious beyond 110 pitches per outing.

      For the pen, the Mets and all of baseball needs to rethink the use of the long man/spot starter. Too many situational guys, too few who are able to work two innings, much less four innings. Torres looks like a great candidate for the mixed usage.

      Mostly, I’m a big believer in crossing bridges when we come to them. That’s why the Super 2 stuff is so ghastly. Trying to save money six years down the road. Who knows what will happen? These guys get hurt all the time. We might trade Wheeler tomorrow. Or three years from now, taking a page out of Tampa Bay’s playbook, flip a guy two years before he needs to get paid.

      I find the current philosophy on the minor leaguers — the fear of using these guys — to be wildly inconsistent with the Mets current position in the baseball world. We can’t afford the veterans, and spending of “proven” veterans that we can afford, the guys who have proven to be not all that good, doesn’t work.

      Get creative, get aggressive, think outside of the box.

      Thanks for your thoughts. Glad you stopped by. I hope we hear from you again.


    • Michael Geus says:

      Your premise is sound, find a way to utilize our most talented players as soon as possible. I might use some of these guys a little differently but I like the logic.

      However, I can’t see it happening. We will get Montero in June 2014, Noah a year later. If they both remain healthy.

      Don’t shoot the messenger!

  5. RAFF says:

    Mel – WOW! Talk about throwing away the book. Interesting. I guess you’ve just tossed the whole “situational” relief/reliever role out the window. Your staff would be loaded with Starters, with less relievers and less guys to put in the game in specific situations. BTW- I’m somewhat OK with this- Because in a lot of situations, bringing in a lefty to face a lefty, or Righty to face a righty, Is somewhat over valued. MANY of the pitchers brought in to do this plainly STINK, and at least 1/2 the time, the move can be countered with a substitution batter. So, your approach is to have the staff loaded with STARTERS- By definition- the best pitchers in most organizations…. Clearly, we’ve seen some of this approach rolled out during play-off and world series over the past years. I think, aside from resistance to breaking with normal convention, the biggest issue would be bringing in that second PLANNED starter- for the “relief work”.. The ability to come out of the pen is something of a learned skill- A routine. It would be a challenge to guys who haven’t done it. As a last thought> I think you would quickly bust your plan due to the fact that you need to stay in lock-step with guys throwing 90 to 100 pitches and getting through 6 innings EVERY OUTING. Doesn’t the first guy who doesn’t do it breaks your scheme apart? Maybe I’ve lost count of some extra rotating pitcher… ?

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