It was like something the Yankees would do. As the deadline approached for cutting teams down to twentyfive players, the management of the New York Mets coolly compared individual performance statistics and announced last Thursday that all-purpose Met Marv Throneberry had been dispatched to Buffalo in the bush league.
Thursday night the fans in the right field bleachers displayed a big sign reading "Bring Marv Back." Marvelous Marv was the exemplar of the Mets' incompetence, the avatar of their hopes. An itinerant athlete, cast off most recently by the Yanks, he was picked up by the scavengers fabricating a 1962 National League team for New York. He endeared himself by providing some of the season's few heroic moments (ninth-inning, game-winning, pinch-hit home runs) and some of the many ghastly ones (a long drive good for a triple, except that Marv missed both first and second base).
Anybody in New York who insists that his team win can wait tunil mid-summer when the Yankees get down to business, buy himself a box seat at the Stadium, and absorb security and self-assurance from an organization steeped in success.
Last season, one victory in every four games sustained the faithful at the Polo Grounds as they began the vigil for euphoria of the kind that the Pirates brought to Pittsburgh in 1960. This spring, with the Mets playing almost 500 ball and outdrawing the Yankees, the management is beginning to act like the Yankee management. The Mets might win a pennant sooner this way, but they will lose their true friends, and not even their new escalator-equipped stadium will lure the secure Yankeephiles.
Whether Marvelous Marv returns or not, the Mets will show a scar. The pernicious professionalism that entered through the wound could possible strike Miss Rheingold from the roster. And Casey Stengel ought to note that Marv Throneberry was not the only Met bearing the Yankee's trusted mark of professional disapproval.