Johneshwy Fargas had his moment in the sun with the New York Mets, but unfortunately, only a few baseball fans saw it happen.
When New York Mets prospect Johneshwy Fargas came up in the second inning against the Cardinals Thursday, the St. Louis radio broadcasters liked saying his name and wanted you to know it.
“That’ll bring in Chris Hrabe’s good friend and mine—” said Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Claiborne.
“My favorite Met,” Hrabe chimed in.
“Johneshwy Fargas,” Claiborne said.
“There you go!” Hrabe said. “Get in on the fun.”
“Worked on it all night,” Claiborne said. “All the way home from Port St. Lucie.”
“Johneshwy,” Hrabe said. “Johneshwy.”
“Yeah,” Claiborne said. “All of a sudden I started bowing.”
“Johneshwy,” Hrabe said.
“Gesundheit,” Claiborne responded.
There was no Mets radio broadcast and no TV at all. So the only way people could follow Fargas’ at-bat was by listening to the two Cardinals’ broadcasters.
“Alright,” Claiborne said. “He’s a right-handed hitter, he’s tired of me making fun of him.”
With Luis Guillorme on third, the Cardinals had their infield in. Fargas fouled off two pitches, took a ball, then drove a ball to the center field fence.
“Johneshwy is around second, and he’s going to third,” Claiborne said.
“Wow,” said Hrabe.
In the fourth, Fargas batted with one out. He swung at the third pitch he saw and looped it into right. Last season at Double-A, Fargas stole 50 bases. With his speed, he had an easy double.
“He was booking it out of the box,” Hrabe said. “He can fly. He’s got some wheels.” Meanwhile, SNY was showing Mets Classics, and WCBS 880 had its regular afternoon talk show.
In the sixth, Fargas singled.
“Johneshwy Fargas has tripled, doubled, and singled in that order,” Claiborne said.
And then, the eighth. Fargas came up with two outs, and the Mets losing by one. He took a fastball low from John Brebbia. Then Brebbia threw a slider that caught too much plate. Fargas hit it off the batter’s eye.
“Johneshwy Fargas has hit for the cycle!” shouted Hrabe.
Fargas rounded the bases. He had hit for the cycle. In Jupiter, a crowd of 5,401 Cardinals fans had seen it. Nobody else could say the same.
Johneshwy Fargas is 25 years old. He has never played above Double-A. He is mostly a singles hitter—he has never posted more than 23 extra-base hits in a season per MiLB.com—but he’s no offensive slouch. In 2018, he batted .320/.393/.400.
But he is, at best, a fringe candidate to ever make the major leagues. In prior seasons, he would have been an excellent candidate for a September call-up as a pinch-runner. But now that September rosters will only expand to 28, even that option seems unlikely.
Thursday, Fargas had what might have been the best offensive day of his career. His home run came against John Brebbia, a legitimate, talented major league pitcher. He tripled and doubled off Adam Wainright. Kwang Hyun-Kim, who allowed his sixth-inning single, posted ERAs under 3.00 in his last two seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization.
Johneshwy Fargas hit for the cycle against major league pitchers, and nobody saw it. New Yorkers certainly didn’t see it. And unless they were willing to listen to the Cardinals’ radio broadcast, New Yorkers couldn’t hear it either.
Sure, it’s a lot more expensive to broadcast games on the road than at home, especially during spring training. It’s probably a business decision on the part of SNY and WCBS: Rick Porcello starting at 1 p.m. on a Thursday likely won’t draw enough listeners to make broadcasting the game worth it. The networks aren’t at fault for doing business.
But now Johneshwy Fargas, who hit for the cycle as a Met, doesn’t have SNY highlights to remember. No Ron Darling analysis or Keith Hernandez thoughtful sighs. Not even audio clips of Howie Rose:
“I feel like George Costanza. ‘Johneshwy! I defy you to come up with a better name than Johneshwy!’ But Maj, boy, can this kid run.”
When Fargas doubled in the fourth, the Cardinals’ radio broadcast actually said something profound. It was an accident, but it happened.
“He just wants us to say his name,” Claiborne said. “That’s why he’s playing so well.”
Johneshwy Fargas just wants us to say his name. He wants us to say his name when we list our favorite players, or when we’re deciding which Mets jersey we’d like. When you picture it on the scoreboard at Citi Field, it actually starts to flow. “Who’s leading off?” “Johneshwy Fargas.” We’ve dealt with Doug Mientkiewicz and Nieuwenhuis. After those, Johneshwy is easy.
Johneshwy Fargas would like Mets fans to say his name, and to remember it. Thursday, he hit for the cycle. No TV, no New York radio…Mets fans could barely tell. And in a week or a month, even his name will probably be forgotten. It’s a shame, too. Such a beautiful name. Johneshwy.
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