PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 02: Pitcher Tim Byrdak #40 of the New York Mets poses for photos during MLB photo day on March 2, 2012 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
There's an awful lot to like about Mets left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak. He struck out more than eleven batters per nine innings last season. He's on a one-year deal at a very modest-for-a-professional-athlete salary. He has the awesome mustache pictured above. He maybe kinda throws a forkball. In 2003, he walked 77-year-old Minnie Miñoso while pitching for the indie Gary SouthShore RailCats.
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Byrdak is a skilled video-bomber:
He's also an avid fan of costuming, good times, and 90's wrestlers, all three of which loves he combined last week when he ran about Mets camp in Port St. Lucie in a stunningly authentic Hulk Hogan get-up:
I delight in players like Byrdak, who must realize how fleeting this opportunity is to play baseball professionally, to be a man playing a kid's game and to make a decent living at it. For everyone who puzzlingly treats baseball as a life-or-death endeavor — players, fans, and even some writers — I appreciate the occasional reminder that this is all supposed to be fun.