Jason Isringhausen saved the Mets victory over the Padres last night. It was save number 300 for his career. No, it’s not quite as impressive as Jim Thome hitting his 600th homer, but a round number is a round number, right?
Like so many top closers, Isringhausen began his major league life as a starter. That didn’t work out for him, of course, and he was converted into a full time closer just as the Mets gave up on him and shipped him to Oakland in the middle of the 1999 season. From there he had a nice nine-season run, closing games for the A’s and, most significantly, the Cardinals. At times he was dominant, but only at times. He racked up a lot of saves with some good Cardinals teams.
The past few years have been rough for Isringhausen. Arm troubles, including his third Tommy John surgery looked to have ended his career. He missed most of 2009 and never made the majors in 2010 as he tried to come back. This season he has been a shadow of his former self for the Mets, though a friendly and welcome shadow, closing out his career where it began and, apparently anyway, hanging around to see the save odometer flip to 300.
And I have no problem with that. The Mets aren’t contending and he’s not crowding out any young stud. If the Mets are simply giving him a chance to hit a milestone, well, in this case good for the Mets. It’s important to Isringhausen and there is enough good will out there for him that it’s important to a non-trivial number of fans. Good for him. And for them.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.