>Remember those early seasons of “The Office”? When it was obvious that Jim and Pam would get together, and the only question was when? Or how in any movie that stars either Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel McAdams, Sandra Bullock, and/or Harry Connick Jr., it is painfully obvious from the movie posters that the main characters are going to “improbably” get together in 90 minutes, but only after some forced drama in the second act that leaves you wondering if it would be more painful to silently strangle yourself with the strap on your girlfriend’s purse or watch the rest of the movie. Everyone in the theater knows that the characters are perfect for each other, and all you can do is wait it out until that inevitable scene where the woman stands at the altar and “remembers” in slo-mo montage (because, of course, human beings think in slo-mo montages) the couple playfully smushing food onto each other’s faces while laughing. Cut to the dramatic rush down the aisle (It’s never just a cut to the realistic annulment the next morning) and then a shot of the main characters kissing in the rain. They are perfect for each other, they just needed to steal that hour-and-a-half of your life to figure it out.
The New York Mets and Bengie Molina are also perfect for each other, but not a Jim-and-Pam-sickeningly-nice kind of perfect. The Mets-Molina marriage is perfect in the way that the marriage of Herman and Lily Munster is perfect, in that “hey, I’m Frankenstein’s monster, you’re a vampiress, our child is inexplicably a werewolf*, so we’re perfect for each other!” kind of way. It’s like they were made for each other by some sort of malevolent baseball god to punish Met fans.
*Is this ever explained on the Munsters? If I’m Herman Munster, and my vampire wife gives birth to a baby werewolf, I’m thinking about maybe getting a paternity test and then a divorce as fast as I can, which probably isn’t particularly fast, seeing that Herman is a lumbering giant built out of corpses.
Bengie Molina is a heavily flawed player. He’s old, he doesn’t walk at all (.285 OPB in 2009, second lowest in the majors), and, depending on what you read, he may or may not be poor defensively. The on-base percentage is most worrisome, because not making outs is the most important thing a player can do offensively. It is not the only thing; hitting home runs is also important, which Molina can do, but it is not the most important thing. Getting on base a ton is the single best way to produce runs. A Mets’ line-up that features Daniel Murphy, Jeff Francoeur, Molina, and the pitcher is going to be awful. That’s four out machines, and at least three sub-.300 OBP, on the field every night. Branch Rickey figured out the importance of OBP back when he was putting together great Brooklyn Dodger teams, yet somehow his present day outer-borough counterpart doesn’t seem to realize it’s value.
Here is a quiz to help illustrate how old knowledge about OBP is:
Put the following in chronological order, from earliest to latest:
A.) Someone figures out the importance of on-base percentage.
B.) Omar Minaya’s birth.
C.) George Orwell releases 1984, the book
D.)Van Halen releases 1984, the album
E.) David Bowie releases 1984, the song
But, remember, this is playing out like a romantic-comedy. So, Bengie Molina is a little rough around the edges, doesn’t like walks (on the beach), and is a little bit of a free swinger. Imagine that he’s Gerard Butler in that recent movie no one saw (Not “P.S. I Love You”. That other one no one saw, where he’s holding a heart over his crotch in the posters.) All he needs is a Katherine Heigel, and look, here comes Omar Minaya, who doesn’t see Bengie’s flaws. It’s a match made in Met fan hell. All of Molina’s shortcomings are in areas severely undervalued by the Mets.
He’s old? So were Moises Alou, Jose Valentin, and Jeff-freaking-Conine.*
*Omar Minaya once traded actual living, breathing human baseball players for two months of a 41-year-old Jeff Conine. Of course, I can’t bash that trade too much, because Conine famously hit an 8-run home run in the final game of the 2007 season, propelling the Mets’ comeback over the devastated Marlins and sending them into the postseason.
He can’t field his position? Omar doesn’t care. See: Sheffield, Gary or Castillo, Luis.
He doesn’t get on base enough? Omar obviously doesn’t care about that; he traded for Jeff Francoeur, the patron saint of one pitch at-bats.
Molina wants too much money and too many years? Two words: Oliverperezluiscastilloorlandohernandez *space* moisesaloualexcoramarlonanderson
It’s eerie how perfect this match is, plus the Mets needed a catcher the year Molina is available. The Mets obviously did something to irritate the baseball gods. Is Citi Field built on an Native American graveyard? All the bad stuff started happening only after ground was broken on the new stadium, so it’s got to be that, right?
So the Mets and Molina are now dancing around a bit, with Molina asking for three years, the Mets only offering him one*, but, mark my words, the Mets will eventually sign Bengie Molina to a two-year deal. It’s too perfect not to happen. Or imperfect. Or hellish. It’s perfect in the way Mr. Burns says it.
*Uh-oh girlfriend, sounds like someone has commitment issues! *snaps fingers sassily*
Quiz Answers: A, C, B, E, D. Yup, knowledge about the importance of OBP is older than Omar Minaya, and Van Halen’s album is the only 1984 actually released in 1984. Here’s a song from said album: