As if the Mets needed more proof that $15 million and an easy looming option clause aren’t necessary requirements to furnish a bullpen this year or next, Jason Isringhausenthis week walked in off the street and landed a minor-league contract with the Mets. I’m happy to see Izzy back, even if he’s a long shot, because it never hurt anyone to have a Plan B or C with a little experience hanging around, especially one with Met heritage. With No. 44 assigned to Jason Bay, Izzy slipped on a No. 45 jersey and said all the right things about John Franco, but in the event he breaks camp, as unlikely as it seems, it might be best for all parties involved if some jersey swapping occurs.
Let’s start with the fact that Izzy’s had only one other number in his career — 29 — but he gave it up for 44 before he ever appeared in a Mets game. He wore 44 so as to remind himself — and show others — that he was a 44th round draft pick. And it’s the only number he’s worn ever since. Bay on the other hand had zero equity in 44 until traded to the Red Sox — that episode of his career will look like a blip on his baseball card when it’s all over — and he left that team for the Mets. And if anyone could use a change of fortune it’s Bay.
(See Matt’s comments below for a counterpoint on Bay).