The last ultra-effective eighth inning pitcher for the Mets is now an effective closer and pitching coach for the Sussex Skyhawks (N.J.) of the Canadian-American League. Sanchez, who turns 31 in October, has 16 saves for the independent league team. It is the same league that 64-year old Bill (Spaceman) Lee will pitch in as he makes his comeback. He starts Sept. 5 for Brockton, Mass.
It was July, 2006, in Florida when Sanchez separated his shoulder after a cab he was in -- at 1:44 a.m -- got into an accident. The Mets traded for Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez, sending Xavier Nady to the Pirates for the two pitchers. You know how that deal worked out.
Two surgeries later, Sanchez was never the same, and in large measure, neither was his spot in the bullpen. He was released in 2009.