Monday, November 20, 2006

Your Grocer's Free Agent Market

Have you ever been to the grocery store, and you're looking for an item in the dairy section, perhaps for that special brand of reduced fat sour cream that you like...and you look and you look and you look and there is only a small handful of that brand left. Then you look at the expiration dates on them, and the date is one day earlier than today.

You could get another brand of sour cream, maybe a brand you don't like quite as much but you know is going to be fresh. You might even walk the extra two blocks to another store to look for fresher sour cream. But then you think...you know, the container does say "best by", which means that while the sour cream may not be at its freshest...may not be at its "best", it could still be pretty good, and go well with your tacos.

Or, it could have fungus and spores and put you in the hospital after you puke the colors of the rainbow.

That, in a nutshell, is how I feel about the Mets potentially signing Moises Alou.

I mean, maybe Alou is stamped with "best by 2004", when he hit 39 HR's and drove in 106 runs with the Cubs (in Wrigley), but he could still be pretty good as he was last season when he hit .301 with 22 HR's and 74 RBI's in only 98 games. But that's the key. He hurt his hamstring when the Mets tried to trade for him late last season, and this is the guy that's going to replace Cliff Floyd because Floyd is injury prone?

It's one thing to bring in older guys in bench roles (and let's face it, Damion Easley is the supermarket equivalent to Twinkies anyway...they aren't going to get stale, but they've got no nutritional value and no place in a main course anyway.) It's quite another to pencil in a forty year old for 500 at bats for a division champ.

Not to mention that signing would ensure the departure of Floyd who, while left handed and while injury prone, was the glue that made the Mets clubhouse a happy one...in this respect making him a latter day Ed Charles. (If you remember, Ed Charles was the wily old veteran who was the old sage of the Miracle Mets of 1969...and his departure was believed to play an underrated part in the Mets failure to repeat. I wasn't born in '69, but you'll just have to take my word for it.)

The 2006 Mets were a tasty meal. Hopefully, the delicious topping isn't due to spoil.

***

You all remember this, right?

Well, I bet you thought it would be the last time that I would share a mass transit line with a Mets personality...at least for the rest of the calendar year.

Yeah, that's what I thought too. However...

The line for the bus after today's 10-0 Jets loss was probably the longest I had ever seen...I was probably further back than I can remember, yet there were about 500-1000 people behind me. I thought I was lucky not to be in the very back, but then I heard a guy near me in line yell out:

"Hey wassup, Ronnie!"

It never occurred to me to look up until the same guy said: "Hey, that's Ron Darling."

Ron Darling? At a Jet game?

And stranger than that: He went to the very back of the longest bus line in Meadowlands history (I assume).

Ron Darling? Taking the bus?

He was too far away from me to say anything to him, but some considered adding an hour to their wait time to move to the back of the line just to hang out with Ron Darling.

Some considered offering their place in line to Darling in exchange for an autograph.

I just wanted to ask him how he got stuck working during the playoffs while Keith Hernandez got the whole damn month off in favor of Todd Zeile and Tim Teufel.

One thing we did notice was that the line hardly moved until "Ronnie" got on his cell phone. Us mere mortals thought it was to avoid the line altogether and order a car (which he should have done in the first place...1986 Mets shouldn't ride buses), but apparently he called Port Authority to complain, because the line moved significantly faster after Darling hung up.
"Hey, can we move his line a little faster here? I'm Ron Darling" -Ron Darling...maybe
Don't mess with Ron Darling.

23 comments:

G-Fafif said...

After the first two games of the 1986 World Series, Ron Darling complained too many suits were taking up too many seats at Shea. He wanted to hear some noise from the real fans.

Ron Darling: A man of the people then, a man of the people now.

The Metmaster said...

Metstra:

Family business has kept me away from hob-knobbing with you one-on-one. Your description of the Alou deal is perfect. Let's hope we are all not puking the rainbow next season. Don't the Mets have two hot-shit outfielders in the minors? They must be close for the Mets to essentially keep their positions warm in left and right with Alou and Green for 2007. Lastings who?

Anonymous said...

Yep, lets replace on off injured left fielder with another one. Who is older. That should work out well.
At least no Soriano. Or Manny.
Glavine needs to make his choice.
I expect a trade for a starter at the winter meetings.

Dammit Chad, wrong jersey.

Unser said...

Why Moises Alou? Why?!? I totally don't get it.

Let's assume Milledge will be traded - I'd rather see Ben Johnson or Endy Chavez out there. They pass on Floyd, understandably, because he is unable to play a full season, and pick up Alou who is 7 years older and also unable play a full season?!? And for $8 million?!?

Totally agree with MD - can you say Randy Jones? Mickey Lolich? Ellis Valentine? George Foster?

Unser said...

. . . and Glavine is starting to irk me. Make up your mind! If he decides to return to Atlanta, Zito's price will go up even higher.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone know Darling was Lee-Boy in "Shallow Hal"? Geek

beezermess said...

Ok....I have to get this off my chest...

First things first...man of the people or not, but that line waiting for the Meadowlands special is painful, especially if your team loses...both me and Damus know all too well...espcially when that wind is whipping....

Ok...so all of the sudden now Lou Pinella gets a contract to manage the Cubbies and Tribune has all this money....Omar, are you telling me that signing Soriano to a 8 year, $136 million contract is a NO but signing Moises Alou at 40 years of age is a GO?
I wrote a month ago that I would not want Manny Ramirez; at this point, I would rather have Manny and his me-first attitude than Moises Alou....he is 40, dammit...!
Is Steve Finley next?
What happens now is that they will OVERPAY for Zito because they have to...and they will trade Milledge so they could guarentee a spot for Alou and his 385 at-bats...and I hate to bring this up again and again, but I have to mention that we are in the position we are in because we traded Nady...so instead of bring back Floyd, who would be cheaper or signing a stud in Soriano...Omar goes after Alou...not Matty or Jesus or Felipe...he goes after Moises...I am getting this sick feeling....

Hey Damus...no props to Jagr getting 600? Were you that depressed about Pennington throwing a red-zone interception...? Give the man his due...

k. said...

Darling lives in Manhattan; he proudly told SNY audiences he doesn't own a car and takes the 7 train to Shea. After the 4-1 Glavine win vs. the Dodgers, I checked out the SNY outdoors booth--why not?--the 7-train entrance was backed up a mile. The Cult of Cohen was out full force, we were all delerious, and the Stache's doppleganger was there, too. Darling was rather aloof at first; after the braodcast, he and his bodyguards (and short, bleached blonde wife/girlfriend?) passed by me in a nervous hurry, Darling murmering, "Sorry...gotta move through." However, after we took StL in Game 6...[Oh Game 6! We were so young! So confident! so delusional that the Stache could hit a fly ball when it counted--fools! we are all sad, pathetic fools!] ...Darling was much more down to earth, even giving the "Number 1" signal to the crowd. Number 1. What could have been. That was the last joy of 2006...

Other than that, I'm getting tired of the Mets getting players who should be broadcasting like Darling rather than taking the field...

Anonymous said...

So Wright and Reyes are in GQ this month.
Deadspin has a link, and of course numerous comments from the peanut gallery.

kyle in newport news said...

"The 2006 Mets were a tasty meal. Hopefully, the delicious topping isn't due to spoil."

Now THAT'S a metaphor, and a damn good one -- the finishing touch on a brilliant extended metaphor, actually, which puts you in the company of the great poets.

the king said...

I can think of .349 reasons why Moises is a good fit.

That would be his AVG. vs lefties last year.

And he will NOT need to play everyday on a deep Mets team, a la Endy and 'Stings

beezermess said...

Hey King:
Question for you....What difference does a .348 batting average against southpaws make when you ONLY PLAY 98 GAMES? My preference is an outfielder who could play everyday and I have the perfect solution...adding a third Carlos to our lineup...
Omar, stop smoking the crack...you let a pitcher go by declining an option for $14 million but you decide to give away $9 million to an outfielder who did not play a 100 games last season...and you then have the nerve to say "he was on the top of our list." Whose list are you looking at, dummy?
Scorecard:
Soriano--we weren't even close
Lee--now with Alou, we don't need him....NOT!!!!!!
Zito--the MUST sign of the winter
Schmidt--have to give more to entice him
Japanese guy--the Red Sox give $51 million just to say hi...Scott Boras is an animal...

Hey Omar...can we do something please...

Sean said...

I mean, granted Alou only played in 98 games last year--but he had 22 homers and 74 RBIS in that limited duty. If he stays healthy, he'll probably be a beast and at a relatively affordable price. He'll get plenty of rest; Endy will probably get about half the starts against RHPs. And generally, despite our relatively old corner outfielders, I feel pretty good about the guys potentially spelling them.

However, if we don't sign Barry Zito, I will no longer continue to give Omar the benefit of the doubt. We need that curveball.

beezermess said...

Hey Sean...
You are right...he is a beast and I like him...10 years ago...
You said it yourself...IF he stays healthy and though I love Endy Chavez, there is no history to look back on to expect he will have the same type of year...They need to get players who are in their prime and are hungry that can lead this team over the hump.
Right now, this season rides on the back of Barry Zito...he will choose are fate...

Anonymous said...

beezermess - I agree somewhat on Alou. But if he is healthy, he is a big help.
As for Lee, he is a DH in training. He makes Mo Vaugh look svelte.
Soriano at $17 million is way too high.
I want Zito. Failing that, a top starter through a trade.
I'm not gonna kill Omar on Glavine, it was a gentlemans agreement that the options would be declined on both sides. If he really wants back in Atl, so be it, just shows his heart is not in NY.

beezermess said...

Ed...
Carlos Lee's stats for 2006:
AVG .300 | HR 37 | RBI 116 | OBP .355 | SLG .540
and he also had 19 steals...

Not bad for a "fat" person...

Remember...Mo Vaughn was 34 when he came here was never the same when he screwed up his ankle in Disneyland....

And as far as Glavine goes..if he decides to go back home to Atlanta...that is ok with me...as long as Zito is what I get to open up for Christmas...

Anonymous said...

Before we go blaming Omar,realize that he turned Kris Benson into El Duque AND John Maine, as well as picked up our Game 7 starter off the scrapheap in a trade that was necessary because ANOTHER Omar coup (Duaner Sanchez acquired for Jae "3-12, 5.63" Seo) had the misfortune of taking a cab at 2 in the morning. So let's please give Mr. Minaya the benefit of the doubt.

beezermess said...

Anonymous:

I am not blaming Omar for anything; all I am doing is criticizing his list....What would you have on the top of your list, Alou, Lee or Soriano?

superjoe said...

Couldn't we sign Alou AND keep Cliffy, and figure that between the two of them we'll get 130 healthy starts for left field? Surely Endy can handle the rest.

ryanr said...

does anyone know about the contract status of endy chavez and pedro feliciano? i thought they had one-year deals??

Anonymous said...

Beezermess,

While I would love Soriano or Carlos Lee, the years and dollars that it would take to sign them are not worth it. Alou has slugged over .500 the past 3 years and is a career .301 hitter. Yes he is old and he will miss many games, but we have endy who can fill in (but should not start on a consistent basis) That is essentially what we had this year, only I view Alou as better offensively that the 2006 Floyd. and then next year we can make a run at Vernon Wells, Ichiro or perhaps Ben Johnson will develop.
And when you consider that Gary Matthews jr. who couldnt even make the mets 4 years ago just signed a $50 million deal, Alou is a downright bargain.

raji said...

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Raji said...

Sorry for the errant post - hit publish instead of preview

Mestra - first-time longtime, check out our own Mets blog, diehard since '83, not quite as demented as you. Love your musings.

I think I WAS "the guy", because I said exactly what you posted, and pretty loud. I had to reiterate to let my brother know, he's unfortunately a Yankees fan, and by default you have to treat all Yankee fans like idiots. I wearing a Jets ski cap, standing in line behind the Fox tent.

Your memory is staggering. send me your email address and I'll send you pictures up and close and personal of that exact moment you captured.

He was there with his son, who is obviously a Jets fan. They were actually cutting THROUGH the line there so they could go into the Fox tent, which he watched the whole post-game from with his son.

He's a lot taller in person! TV adds like 20 pounds to the guy, I think he should stay warm up in the booth depending on what pitchers we can get.

So, if you really wanted to, you could finish your Mets 1B trifecta because I was there and have spent 2 hours with Rickey Henderson, in 2000, in Japan, helping him and Derek Bell, I think Bobby Jones or Pulsipher, some scrub I didn't know, get back to their hotel in Tokyo.....

Now that guy, is actually shorter in person.