Yesterday the Mets and Nationals played a largely forgettable game in a string of largely forgettable spring training games that was interesting because Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer both hit home runs (both firsts on the year and likely the only time the two of them go yard in the same game this year) and was the first time I noticed that Michael Taylor is starting to fill out and should ease Nats’ fans worries about Denard Span’s abdominal surgery and the lingering issues likely to follow.
Anyway, during the game, I noticed a few things that made me sad. Let’s explore sadness together through pictures.
No Tanner Roark? What a bummer.
That sure is an impressive rotation isn’t it? I doubt if there’s another rotation in baseball that can match the Nationals one through five. Say you’re the Mets, and your season of promise and hope begins with the unenviable task of facing Scherzer, Strasburg, and Zimmermann. Are the Mets looking forward to any of those guys? How excited is Matt Harvey going to be to face Scherzer in the season opener? I’m fairly certain he tops 100 more than a few times in that game.
Span and Jayson Werth might be happy to sit out the first series.
None of this makes me sad, though. Whose picture is missing? Sure, Tanner Roark gets a line at the bottom, showing his W-L record and his ERA. I’m an unabashed Roark fan, and sometimes I think that God truly is just for delivering Roark out of the pitching hell that is Arlington right now, but it makes me sad that anything other than a few spot starts and some relief appearances, we won’t see Roark’s beard and filthy changeup very often this year. Unless Mike Rizzo trades one of his starters, Roark won’t see meaningful action as a starter until he’s six months shy of his 30th birthday.
Oh, and speaking of Harvey:
This makes me sad only because I’m dumb enough to believe that any hits at all for Harvey are sort of a letdown. Even in spring.
Danny Espinosa made me sad a lot last year. Mostly with his bat. If you watched him regularly, you’d understand. Espinosa switched up his batting stance last year to which I dubbed the pseudo-Carl Everett, which made me think of both Land of the Lost and the The Land Before Time. I loved both as a kid, so thank you for that Danny and Carl Everett. Other than that, I was filled with sadness watching him swing through pitches.
This picture makes me sad for another reason. You have to see the before image, taken from a game played on Monday, to understand.
His mustache was the one reason I wanted to see more of Espinosa. That mustache was the closest I’ve seen a ballplayer come to looking like Clu Haywood from Major League. Haywood, played by former ballplayer Pete Vuckovich sported a pretty sweet mustache in his playing days too. I hope Espinosa comes to his senses and lets the season-defining facial statement come back before Matt Williams and Rizzo begin roster cuts.