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Mets bring back Isringhausen to bolster bullpen
After pitching in seven games for Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate last year, he was looking for an opportunity this season when the Mets agreed to give him a shot.
“When my agent told me this, I said, `Yeah, this will be fun,’” said Isringhausen, who is wearing No. 45. “My wife and I talked about it. Full circle, and everything happens for a reason. So I’m going to run with it as much as I can. I don’t know what’s going to happen _ nobody does. So when they call on me, go out there and give it everything I’ve got and let the chips fall where they may.”
Isringhausen was selected by the Mets in the 44th round of the 1991 free agent draft and they converted him from a college outfielder to a pitcher. He made his major league debut in 1995, going 9-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 14 starts and finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
“The talk on the bench was, `Oh my god, when these guys grow up, holy cripes, this staff is going to be something special,’” said Collins, who was managing the Houston Astros at that time. “They all certainly had very, very, very good arms.”
But all three got injured and Isringhausen was traded in July 1999 to Oakland, where he became a quality closer. He signed with St. Louis in December 2001 and had five seasons with more than 30 saves for the Cardinals, including a league-high 47 in 2004.
Isringhausen said it hurt to be traded by his original big league club, but he quickly moved on.
“Been a lot of games between then and now,” he said. “It was hard, but I wouldn’t change the path of my career for anything. … It’s been a long road.”
“I’m not near that person I was then. To me, I feel like I’m a better person,” Isringhausen said. “I was real immature, and pretty much an idiot back then.”
But now, his intangibles are a big reason he’s back, and Collins made it clear that he wants his young relievers to soak up some of Izzy’s veteran expertise.
“It’s still the Mets on the chest. That never changes,” he said. “This could be it, so I’m going to give it 110 percent every time I get the ball.”
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White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow