Friday, November 25, 2011
#518) MANNY ALEXANDER
Manny Alexander was traded along with Scott McClain from the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Mets in exchange for Hector Ramirez on March 22, 1997. "They are Ripken casualties," Mets general manager, Joe McIlvaine said. "Alexander was behind him at shortstop last season, and McClain was behind him at third base this spring."
"It's exciting," said Alexander. "It's a new team. I knew that I wasn't going to play for the Orioles. I hope that it's the right thing. You never know what the chances are." New York placed him on the opening day roster as the insurance policy for an injured Rey Ordoñez. The Dominican Republic native made his debut with the Mets on April 2, 1997.
Manny became the team's starting shortstop when Ordoñez broke a finger on his left hand on June 1st. The assignment was short-lived. Alexander was also forced to the disabled list when he was injured running the bases on June 10th. The injury required arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. "It's frustrating because not many teams have a backup player who could step in and become an everyday player without losing anything," assistant GM Steve Phillips said. "Manny was a luxury. This is just another challenge. This team has overcome a lot so far." Recovery from the procedure kept Alexander out of the lineup until July 10th.
Manny returned, but once back in the lineup aggravated the injury to his tendon making a spectacular diving play against the Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium. He returned to the disabled list on July 28th due to inflammation of his right knee.
Before he was able to return to play, the Mets sent Alexander to the Chicago Cubs completing a six-player deal that imported Turk Wendell, Mel Rojas, and Brian McRae. "It's like doing your shopping at 7-Eleven," Mets manager, Bobby Valentine explained the trade that also included the popular Lance Johnson. "You need something right now, so you pay a little more. We did that—but I think it was the proper thing to do." Manny finished with two home runs, 15 RBIs, and a .248 batting average in 54 games for New York.
I created Manny Alexander's card in the set from an autographed index card that was signed for Dion Soskin in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania during the 1992 season.