"Tryouts are for spring training. If 15 wins is not enough, then I don't know." -Steve TrachselI see kitty has claws.
Poor Steve Trachsel. He really is the Rodney Dangerfield of major league baseball.
Think about this for a second...okay, a half a second. If the above quote looked like this:
"Tryouts are for spring training. If 15 wins is not enough, then I don't know." -Pedro MartinezWe would be singing his praises, calling him "Braveheart", and pumping the volume up on the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", wouldn't we?
But it's poor Steve Trachsel...and I don't have to read my special tea leaves to know that this will be met with more scorn about Trachsel being bitter and about the fact that he's maddingly infuriating to watch, as he was at points on Sunday. And yes, watching Steve Trachsel is like watching a Friday the 13th movie where all you're doing is screaming at the screen yelling "Don't go in there! DON'T GO IN THERE! DOOOOON'T GOOOOO IIIIIN THEEEEEERRRRREE!!!!!" But sure enough, the cheerleader always goes down into the basement and before you know it, cheerleader soufflet. But I ask you this: when October comes, what pitcher do the Mets have that isn't going to be infuriating to watch, for whatever reason? Pedro with his calf? Tommy and Hernandez with their age? John Maine and his lack of age? Billy Wagner...for the pure fact that he's a closer and that we remember vividly what happened the last time a closer took the mound for the Mets in the playoffs and World Series?
Call me a basket case, and I'm sure I've gone on both sides of the left field fence on this issue, but Trachsel's acid tongue is starting to sway the odds in his favor with me. Trachsel has played on some bad teams in his career, so we really don't have a large sample of games where the chips were on the line. But when Trachsel came back after a back injury with the Mets only four games back of first, Trachsel threw a gem against the Giants (the Mets were never that close again). When the Mets had a packed house and a playoff atmosphere for their clincher, Trachsel threw another gem. And let's not forget Trachsel's 6 and 1/3 scoreless during the Cubs' one game playoff against San Francisco in 1998.
No, it's not a long and storied resume like the one Petey or Glavine or Orlando have to work with. But how much of a resume can you really develop playing with the Cubs of the mid nineties, the Devil Rays, the Blue Jays, and the Mets from '01 to Art Howe?
I'm not guaranteeing a thing with Trachsel. He makes me nervous. He's high on the TUMS meter. But there's bulldog in him. I know there is. His biting quotes show me such. He's pitched long enough in this league, and well enough in the limited big spots he's encountered to warrant a post-season start. Besides, anyone who survived as many Met heartaches as he has (he's the last one left from 2001 kiddies) not to mention the complete housecleaning done by Omar Minaya, and some serious burying by Willie Randolph (in the rotation and in the media)...forget a playoff start, Steve Trachsel deserves a baseball equivalent of the purple heart.