Monday, October 09, 2006

October 9th, 1979

Alay Soler Born

To me, Alay Soler is a perfect representation of a player who is on every team every year: the guy who saw a surprising amount of time when you look back on his numbers, but who you don't really remember. "Alay Soler," Mets fans everywhere are saying. "He was on our team this year? Are you sure? Wasn't it 2005?"

Nope, it was 2006, and not only was Soler on the team, he made eight starts for the Mets, the most of any non-regular member of the rotation. This isn't a shot at the Mets of course (it's not really a shot at Soler either, for that matter) just an observation on the nature of fandom. Like everything else, we think of the season in a linear way, so the stuff that came early (like Soler's starts) tends to get mushed in with other nonsense, compared to the stuff that came later. Oliver Perez only made seven starts for the Mets this year, but doubtless more fans remember him because he made his in the final two months of the season.

This is an exercise you can repeat for nearly any team, and as you get into less playing time, it's often amazing who was once on your team. I had literally wholly forgotten until I just looked that Scott Erickson actually pitched eleven and a third innings for the Yankees this year. The only problem is that you can only repeat this exercise for teams with which you are familiar on a day-to-day basis, otherwise the whole point is lost. But with the 2006 statistics up at BaseballReference, head over and wonder at who wore your club's uni this year that you just don't remember at all.

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