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.
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.