The Mets on Wednesday announced Jose Valverde as the second candidate to become this year’s Special Guest Veteran Closer, a role played a year ago by Brandon Lyon and LaTroy Hawkins and the year before by Jason Isringhausen.
Valverde at one time was a heck of a closer for Detroit, but became something of a gasbag by 2012. One of his competitors in Mets camp is the mookish Kyle Farnsworth, himself a former 100-mph freak but more recently the kind of guy teams reach for when they’re unsure of the health of their closer. I guess the Mets sort of qualify.
Farnsworth has been issued No. 44, which is the number I recall him wearing back when he was a phenom with the Cubs. No word yet on Valverde’s digits though he’s most often worn 47. That number currently belongs to Andrew Brown, whose own path to a job this year appears difficult, especially if Josh Satin really learns how to play the outfield.
Purely as a matter of taste I’d prefer the demonstrative Valverde over the combustible Farnsworth but history suggests we stand a pretty good chance of seeing both, or neither. Let’s see how it goes.