WHITESTONE, NY – Back in 2008 the NY Yankees acquired a third baseman named Morgan Ensberg. He immediately caused problems with the fan base when he dared to wear #21 on his back. For the Yankees faithful, that digit belonged to their warrior Paul O’ Neill. Ensberg lasted a total of 28 games. That same year pitcher LaTroy Hawkins wound up in the Bronx and he too decided 21 was for him. He quickly found out why the “Bronx Cheer” is called that.
Over in Queens, another numbers story is brewing. The NY Mets, who have been awfully quiet this off-season, made a splash by signing the great Harrison Bader. The injury-prone outfielder showed his Bronxville swag by requesting the number 48 and the Mets handed it to him.
Bader went back to his roots, as the 48 is what he wore with the St. Louis Cardinals. By the way, the number 48 was Jacob deGrom’s digit. How quickly the Mets forgot about their ace pitcher – who abandoned them. The same pitcher, who the team portrayed as being better than Tom Seaver or even Doc Gooden, has parted ways even in the numbers game.
Once upon a time, there were dreams of deGrom going into the Hall of Fame as a Met and having his number 48 up in the leftfield tiers at Citi Field. Eventually, a statue would have been erected near Tom Terrific of their Generation X pitcher, who pitched great but couldn’t win. Suddenly the Mets woke up from that dream and issued the number that was worn by their injury-prone pitcher… to their new injury-prone outfielder. With Spring Training being around the corner let’s see how the fan base reacts.
Will they boo Bader every time he steps out of the dugout, or will they do like the Mets and forget the pitcher who pitched great but never won?