Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Mets Get New Names

"Hey Angel, pass me that machete," said Luis Castillo, as they prepared in the clubhouse for today's game against the Nationals. He was holding an unopened coconut, the sweet nectar waiting untapped within.

"First use the name I told you to call me by."

"Angel, are you sure about that?"

"Not Angel, call me..."

Enter Jose Reyes

"Hey! The Vengeance Penguin! Let's knock 'em dead today! Seek vengeance against the Nationals who took our igloos!"

Pagan leaped out of his seat and performed his new handshake with Reyes. They had their arms straight down with palms facing the ground. They waddled toward each other, making noises that penguins themselves may well make. When they were close enough they bumped chests, and landed diagonally facing to the right of the other one. At the same moment they put one foot forward, bared their teeth and made threatening noises. That was the end of the "handshake" and they broke formation grinning.

"That's my best one yet," Reyes said to Bay, as he moved toward his locker.

"Better than this?" With lightning speed, Reyes took off his shoes because he knew what was coming. Bay jumped toward the ground, caught himself with his hands and flipped over into a bridge, his head facing away form his feet. Reyes stepped on a chair, then grabbed a fixture in the ceiling and used it to hold himself up as he walked over the Bay Bridge.

"Nice!" said Wright and Ike and unison, and Francouer fell into hysterical laughter that lasted long enough for Manager Jerry to sketch out a new lineup, just in case Frenchy was not available to start. Hot Rod Barajas and Jon Niese quietly observed the whole thing while eating cupcakes, sipping coconuts and studying the opposing lineup.

"What if I start the game throwing in the 40s and 50s, then, right when they start looking comfortable, increase my speed dramatically?"  Barajas pondered this while he watched Castillo and Pagan continue their conversation.

"Ok, Vengeance Penguin it is. Just one question. Why that, and not, say, Angel Pagan."

"Here's why. I was watching a nature show about penguins. One of them lost its home, right? And I thought, poor pathetic penguin. No home, no ability to fly, no job, no nothing. But the penguin didn't give in. It fought back and rebuilt its life. Even though it had been wronged."

"What wronged it? A polar bear?"

"Wrong pole. But the wrong doesn't matter, the vengeance matters. See I've been wronged too. I've been struck out, my grounders fielded, my fly balls caught. And before I would just go back to the dugout like a puppy dog. No more! Starting tonight, I seek vengeance!"

While Castillo remained skeptical, the rest of the Mets loved it, and many of them joined in on the action.

Tonight's starting lineup card for game 33 against the Nationals, as handed to the PA announcer, and eventually read live to tens of thousands of adoring and baffled fans:

1. Angel Pagan Vengeance Penguin
2. Luis Castillo
3. Jose Reyes  Furious Egret
4. Jason Bay Bane of your existence Nationals! You can't handle it!
5. David Wright Stuff
6. Ike Davis Walrus
7. Jeff "giggling hyena" Francouer [nickname supplied by Jerry Manuel]
8. Hot Rod Barajas
9. Jon Niese Death Sparrow

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