The Mets began 2o16 with two Venezuelans vying for the shortstop role. As the season winds down and the playoffs loom, only one may remain.
Wilmer Flores is a Met fan favorite and always will be, if only for his teardrops on trading deadline in 2015:
Wilmer’s had a good, if not great season in 2016–playing first, second, third, and short in a very malleable Met infield. But on September 10, he made the cardinal (not Cardinal) error of sliding head-first into home plate–into A.J. Pierzynski, who was decked out in the traditional catcher/Roman gladiator gear. You’d almost have to say, of course Flores got hurt. And he did, injuring his wrist. He may not be able to add anything to the Mets’ playoff hopes other than the 16 homers he’s already tallied.
Meanwhile, Asdrubal Cabrera has revived his baseball life in Gotham. After bouncing rapidly from Cleveland to Washington to Tampa in two calendar years, A.C. signed with the Mets this off-season and may just tie his career high of 25 homers, set with the Tribe in 2011. A steady veteran influence in his tenth season, he and Jose Reyes actually both dyed their hair blonde, too, in some odd measure of “we once were lost, but now are found” solidarity.
And in what could have been a crushing defeat to Philadelphia, on September 23 Cabrera crushed a walk-off 3-run homer in the home 11th to deliver a crucial win:
Too early to tell yet if the Mets will even be in the playoffs. But the un-natural blonde from Puerto La Cruz has played a key role all season.
For the injury-plagued Mets, 2016 reads like a mix between “Last Man Standing” and “Survivor.” Asdrubal hopes to be on deck, still, as they sail into the storym seas of the Wild Card.