Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Daryl Boston, Kangaroo Courts, and 1994

Posted by JD on February 9, 2011

In an effort to pass the time until Spring Training starts (and to avoid the Madoff mess as much as possible), I started counting down by player uniform numbers. I abandoned the effort (for a few reasons) but I figured I’d keep digging around to see what I could see. Today I focused on Daryl Boston.

I liked Daryl when he was on the team. Some backstory: when it came time for Darryl Strawberry to part ways with the Mets, I was very much for letting him walk. There were a few reasons for this, but they are lost in the clouds of my memory. I want to say that I bought into negative articles I read (when all else fails, blame the messenger). I know I was upset with Darryl when he punched Keith Hernandez, so that might have had something to do with it. Whatever it was, I very distinctly remember being “happy to see him go” when Darryl signed with the Dodgers.

This feeling lasted for approximately one Spring Training game. To this day, I regret that Daryl left the Mets. At this point, you’re probably asking what any of this has to do with Daryl Boston, and rightfully so. Well, the Mets had claimed Boston off of waivers from White Sox in 1990, and once I realized what a loss Darryl was, I filled that void by becoming a Daryl fan.

Yes, I know that’s a stupid reason to like a player. It’s an even stupider reason to expect him to play well. But expect it I did. And in the small sample size that is my memory of those years, I remember one particular game (can’t remember the year, but it was after Strawberry left the team) in which Boston hit a home run. I joined in the subsequent “Dar-yl” chants with all my heart, and all was well with the world (for one at-bat, at least). Throw in the fact that he was (for whatever reason) the judge in the Mets’ “kangaroo court” (a fact I learned from a program that I can’t find on line, but is touched on here) and I was sold.

The thing is, over the subsequent years I’ve come to associate Boston’s tenure with the Mets with that one game. As a result, I thought I was over-rating him significantly. Turns out, not so much. Sure, Boston never equaled Strawberry’s production, but he was useful: he had a 114 OPS+ in his time with the Mets and was worth 3.9 rWAR. Not the greatest numbers you’ll ever see, but not bad either.

The other thing I noticed was that Boston’s last game in the majors came on August 11, 1994 (for the Yankees: ugh).  For those of you who may not remember, that was the last day before the strike. I wondered whether the strike ended his career. Further digging revealed that he signed with Florida and played for their AAA team in 1995, so it’s probably fair to say that diminished skill was more responsible. But he was one of 140 players who appeared in their final game that season. What a crappy way for a career to end.

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