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How Mets’ history of hot-stove horrors haunts their new GM

Brodie Van Wagenen isn’t just dealing with Noah Syndergaard as the Mets’ hot stove begins to crank up past 200 degrees; there is the perpetual ghost of Nolan Ryan haunting every telephone call and text message. He isn’t just kicking the tires on Robinson Cano; there is the forever specter of Carlos Baerga and Robbie Alomar lurking, lingering, loitering.

And, in truth, he isn’t just representing Brodie Van Wagenen.

He is combatting the ghost of Bob Scheffing. Or, at least, the words of Bob Scheffing on Friday, Dec. 10, 1971, the day after the winter meetings ended in Phoenix, after the Mets GM’s pursuit of a big hitter — Nate Colbert, Lee May, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Richie Allen — all went for naught and, instead, in what Scheffing insisted was a stroke of both patience and genius, he’d landed the biggest fish possible: Jim Fregosi.