Ever since the 2000 season, when the New York Yankees and the crosstown Mets played each other in the World Series, I've wanted to see Bobby Abreu, from then until yesterday the right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, in a Mets uniform. I don't recall just what happened in 2000 that made me aware of Abreu, but I just wanted to see him on the Mets. He was a dependable hitter with some power, had a powerful throwing arm, and didn't mouth off much in the papers.
And they've had plenty of opportunities to make it happen. In particular, when the Mets were trying to get rid of Anna, um, I mean Kris Benson, they could have made a trade for Abreu. Instead, they made headlines by trying to get their hands on Manny Ramirez, the much flashier and crankier right fielder for the Boston Red Sox. I remember having fits because the Phillies were making Abreu available, and the Sox had also been in talks with the Phillies about a possible Abreu-for-Ramirez swap. It seemed to me that if Benson=Ramirez and Abreu=Ramirez, then Benson=Abreu. Instead the Mets sent Anna and her husband to Baltimore in a trade, and wound up with neither Abreu nor Ramirez.
And now Abreu is on the Yankees.
Granted, the Yankees have more of a need for an outfielder of Abreu's caliber. They're one game out of first place, which in the Yankee mindset is like being only one foot underwater. They want to get up where they think they belong. The Mets, on the other hand, are enjoying the largest lead of any division leader in the majors, 14 games as of today. The Mets are so far out front that only self-destruction could prevent them from making it into the post-season. Their outfield may not have the total star power of Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Garry Sheffield, but even with Curt Floyd, Carlos Beltran, and the more "pedestrian" Xavier Nady, Endy Chavez, and Eli Marrero, they've been doing just fine. If they'd gotten Abreu, then most likely Nady, who's become a fan favorite, would have to sit.
I guess what sickens me about the whole thing is that, as much as I wanted to see Abreu on the Mets, the Yankees were able to get him because the Mets don't really need him. A good problem to have, I suppose...