Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The card that got "a lot of fluids going"

The 2002 Mets were one of the biggest disappointments of recent years; just two years removed from winning the NL pennant, they finished in last place. One of their few highlights that year was a fight caused by this baseball card.

As Sports Illustrated explained at the time:
"Until June 25 neither Roberto Alomar nor Roger Cedeno had done much for the Mets this year. The inability of the two off-season free-agent acquisitions to set the table was a large part of the reason that New York's offense had gone hungry. Then, before a division showdown with the Braves, they made what could turn out to be their biggest contribution to the Mets' cause all year: They got into a fight in the clubhouse.

The spat started with Cedeno's teasing Alomar about the picture on his 1988 rookie baseball card: Alomar is sporting a pencil-thin mustache that makes him look rather like '80s pop star El DeBarge. Alomar took exception, and the pair had to be separated by Mo Vaughn. Alomar then went out and homered in the first inning, and Cedeno sparked a Mets rally in the second with a single and a stolen base. Clearly pleased, manager Bobby Valentine dismissed the imbroglio that preceded the 7-4 win as "a little Latin yelling." He added, "We were up for the game. There was a lot of fluids going.""

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