Monday, January 7, 2008

Angel in the Outfield

My most vivid memories of Angel Pagan for the 2001 Cyclones involve rundowns.

It seemed like he was in a rundown nearly every game, partially because he was constantly looking to take the extra base, or challenge the other team's defense. What was most amazing about Angel in the rundowns was that he almost always got out of them! He had the uncanny ability to know exactly when to make the right break in the right direction. He also practically patented a move I've never seen before (or since), dropping flat to the ground in the instant before it looked like he would be tagged, causing the fielder to either jump over him and go past him, or trip over him -- and in both instances, Angel was back on his feet and off in the other direction before the fielder even knew what happened.

Overall, I've always said that Pagan and Ambiorix Concepcion were probably the two most exciting players I've seen in the Cyclones' seven-year history. Angel was the type of player who did something every game that made you say "wow!" Whether it was his speed on the bases, his grace in the outfield, his ability to create runs almost all by himself...he'd do something every game that made him stand out.

Well, now he's back with the Mets, after the trade this weekend that sent Corey Coles (a key part of the 2004 Brooklyn squad that was one of the best and most popular) and Ryan Meyers (who appeared briefly for the Cyclones over two seasons).

Sorry to see Corey go...he's grown up in the organization and was a good guy to the Brooklyn fans, but Angel is one of the most recognizable and popular players in Cyclones history, and it'll be great to see him play for the Amazin's.

Here in 2008, we'll see more and more Cyclones making it to the big leagues, and being parts of major deals. It's fun to be a Cyclones fan (or employee) and be able to say we saw them first!

-- Dave

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