Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nick Evans Never Existed: Mets Say They Were Victims Of A Cruel Hoax

By now you've most likely read at least one article about the ongoing Manti Te'o saga. Hearing about this prompted me to do some digging into the Mets archives and what I've uncovered is shocking but not necessarily surprising.  Apparently, the Mets were either the perpetrators or victims of a similar hoax as recently as the 2011 season.

A check of the Mets record books shows that from 2008 - 2011 the team employed a player named Nick Evans. A check of Baseball Reference shows that this "Nick Evans" even compiled some statistics over that time period. There's just one problem. No one in or around the Mets organization has ever seen this person.

Desperate to find someone who can confirm his existence, I made some phone calls and sent some emails. I contacted Mets fans, Mets bloggers and even some former "teammates" of Evans. In every case, I received the same answer. "Who?"

You're probably thinking, "But Randy, what about his baseball cards?"

I thought about this too.  After some research I found out that while there are in fact baseball cards and other promotional materials that feature Nick Evans, he is not the person pictured.  As it turns out, the man whose image is most commonly used to represent Evans is in fact Randall Stevens, a resident of Maine who has never met or even heard of Nick Evans.  A look at Stevens' Facebook page confirms this:

When asked about Evans, the Mets immediately released this statement:
On Jan. 16, the Mets were informed that we have been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Nick Evans apparently ingratiated himself with the Mets and then conspired with others to lead people to believe he actually existed to collect a salary from the team. The organization immediately initiated an investigation to get to the bottom of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.
But is there more to the story?

A source within the Mets organization, which apparently is anyone not named Wilpon these days, says the team knew what it was doing. "The guy was a phantom.", says the source. "An apparition conjured by the Wilpons so they could fill a roster spot with a player they would never have to pay a cent."

While many details of this story will certainly come to light in the coming weeks, one thing is certain: Nick Evans does not exist.

All articles featured on The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story. Follow me on Twitter @readtheapple.

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