Sad news out of Queens, as Julio Franco has been designated for assignment, effectively ending his stint with the Mets and possibly his career. Franco, weeks before his 49th birthday and with a goal to inexplicably play until 50, was planning on asking for his release to sign with a team which could offer more playing time, but it's unknown what kind of interest he'll generate.
Kyle and I are heading to Shea tonight, but even the glory that is The Endy Chavez Bobblehead cannot make up for the sorrow I feel. It's like finding out your dog got run over by a car 10 minutes after losing your virginity. Who could possibly root against Julio? He began his career over a year-and-a-half before I was born and still swings the heaviest bat allowed in baseball. He's also the oldest player ever to hit a grand slam, a pinch-hit home run, two home runs in one game, and to steal two bases in a game, though when you've been the oldest player in MLB history for the last 3 years running, it's not hard to tack on notables like that. He went 24 years between starts at third base. And I'm not sure, but I think if you drop a needle on his nipple it plays Pet Sounds.
The news today reminds me of my last trip to Shea, and my interesting encounter with Franco:
The next player out is Julio Franco. I'm accidentally standing next to his locker while listening to Valentin. Next thing I know, I look to my left and see Julio Franco's bare, bulbous ass. The oldest ass in baseball. Like, really close to me. Did I mention it was a surreal day?
The thing I remember most about that encounter -- you'd think I'd remember it vividly, seeing as how it was only 9 months ago, but them damned herbal essences been screwin' with my memory -- was how astonished I was that such an impeccable ass belonged to a 48 year old. Some scouts know when to tell a player is aging by his bat speed or range in the field -- I know asses. And that one still has plenty of baseball left in it.
Field Trip report on the Shea trip tonight -- with pictures! -- to come.....whenever. You'll get it when we get around to it.