My desk is a mess, as you can sort of tell from the picture in the header (you can’t see the other side, which is worse). I’m using “cleaning my desk” as an excuse to watch some NCAA Tournament action today.
At some point while working here, I acquired a pack of 2008 Topps Heritage cards, probably the first pack of baseball cards I’ve opened in 15 years. They’re all turning up as I clean, and I just uncovered this one:
It’s from a series called “Words of Wisdom,” which I guess highlights great advice given from managers to their players.
The back reads:
When the Mets made a trade in the winter of 2006 with the Orioles to get John Maine — then a little-known prospect — many fans barely noticed. They notice the young right-hander now, as he’s quickly matured into a top-of-the rotation mainstay. His rapid development can be credited, in part, to deft handling by manager Willie Randolph. In Maine’s 1st season, Randolph brought him along carefully, rarely allowing him to work deep into games. By the end of the year, John was prepared for pressure, and he responded with a 2.63 ERA in 3 postseason starts. In 2007, he tied for the team lead with 15 wins, once carrying a no-hitter through 6 innings and another time losing a “no-no” with 2 outs in the 8th.
Oh, pre-2008 John Maine: top-of-the rotation mainstay. Oh, pre-2008 Willie Randolph: deft handler of pitching staffs.