This Date in Mets History: December 29 - Bay Day (And Nobody's Celebratin')

Mike Stobe / Getty Images

Remember when you could almost make a legit argument that Jason Bay's contract was better than Matt Holliday's? Me neither.

The Mets made the worst free agent signing in their history three years ago today, inking Jason Bay to a four year, $66 million dollar contract. Here's how Amazin' Avenue broke the news 1,096 days ago. The Classical co-founder and erstwhile Mets fan Tim Marchman was less charitable on his blog. The post has disappeared into Internet's murky depths, but he responded to the signing by sharing a picture of Mo Vaughn with no additional comment. Funny, but a bit unfair. To Vaughn. After all, big Mo hit 26 home runs in 2002. It took Jason Bay 1,125 plate appearances to match that level of production.

Snark aside, Bay seemingly tried his hardest to match the expectations set by his ridiculous contract and he would have been a fool to turn down that kind of money. Of course, it was also foolish to offer him that much cash in the first place. Even the most realistic of projections of what Bay might produce based on his age and pre-2010 career indicated the Mets would probably wind up overpaying for his services by the end of the contract. If there's a silver lining in all this, it's that Bay was bad enough that he couldn't merit the playing time needed to make his easily attainable option for a fifth year vest. Or maybe the fact that the Mets are now paying Bay to compete against likes of Mike Carp and Raul Ibanez for playing time in Seattle indicates that there's no silver lining at all.

Birthdays
Emil Brown is 38. The outfielder got six plate appearances as a Met over three days in June 2009. He hit a single, drew a walk, got designated for assignment, and then called it a career.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On this date in 1914, the prominent English literary journal The Egoist began serializing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel by James Joyce. The tale follows protagonist Stephen Dedalus as he leaves boyhood, has an intellectual awakening, and turns into the titular young artist. No one with the surname Dedalus has played professional baseball (according to Baseball Reference's comprehensive database, anyway), but the Mets did give 18 plate appearances to John Stephen DeMerit in 1962. The team also let 17-year old Ed Kranepool take a few hacks, which earned him the honor of being the youngest man to appear in the majors that year.

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