Tomorrow afternoon, John Buck, Collin Cowgill and Marlon Byrd will become the 843rd, 844th and 845th players in Mets history.
Sometime this week, they can expect to be joined by Scott Atchison, Greg Burke, LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Lyon, Anthony Recker and Scott Rice.
We wanted roster turnover, and we got it – 36 percent of the Opening Day roster will be filled by people who weren’t Mets in 2012. Our dreadful bullpen got the biggest makeover, with just new closer Bobby Parnell, Josh Edgin and 2012 September callup Jeurys Familia among the holdovers.
Two-thirds of the starting outfield are new, and both our starting and backup catchers played for other teams in 2012.
None of them arrive with the fanfare and expectations we had for Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran in 2005, Carlos Delgado in 2006, Johan Santana in 2008 or even Jason Bay in 2010. Over the next few weeks and months, hopefully a few of these new Mets will do something to make us remember them fondly.
If they can’t be future inductees into the Mets Hall of Fame, maybe one or two can become the next Omir Santos or Mike Baxter – players who transcend their limited skills to give us a memorable moment or two.
I’m sure that Rice and his family will savor every moment of tomorrow – after 14 seasons in the minor leagues and three brief stops in independent baseball, including nine games with the 2009 Newark Bears, he’s finally reached the major leagues. That’s the kind of story it’s hard not to love.
Let’s enjoy tomorrow for the rebirth of baseball that it is instead of getting frustrated at all the things that it is not.