Monday, December 11, 2006

Dark Chi

"Boy, our bullpen is getting worse by the day. No Chad Bradford, no Guillermo Mota for 50 games, and now, no Darren Oliver. This is getting ridiculous. And do you think maybe you can update your blog more than once a week before the tumbleweeds blow through? I appreciate your optimism, but you're a hump". -reader with dark Chi, in a quote heavily paraphrased and creatively licensed.
So let me get this straight: In a shark infested free agent market for pitchers, Darren Oliver takes advantage of the opportunity to triple his salary...and I'm the bad guy?

Dark Chi...indeed.

But dear readers, what surprises me is that Oliver is going to the Angels to resume the very same role he had as a Met. One would think that his six inning liferaft in Game three of the NLCS would have opened some eyes as to his ability as a starting pitcher...and in this market, you would have thought that Oliver would have seized the opportunity to elevate his role with a desperate team like Kansas City or Milwaukee.

Instead, he joins a solid Angels bullpen with nary an overture by the Mets.

Curiously, the Mets are gambling that lightning doesn't strike twice. Blueback Bradford was one story, with Omar Minaya not willing to give three additional seasons to a submariner with back issues. But Darren Oliver is an entirely different ballgame. We all assumed that Cousin Oliver would be a goner with the money flying around for starters...but the Angels signed him relatively cheap for the same role as he had before. At about $1.75 million for one season (with a $2 million) that's just about triple what Oliver made in '06 ($600 K). Consider that the Mets just about tripled Jose Valentin's salary in signing him for '07, but wouldn't do so with the similarly aged Oliver. As Dark Chi so eloquently put it (well, more like he grunted it to me while at the Fatburger drive-thru) why wouldn't you work to keep together the strength of your club, which is the bullpen?

The Chi's answer to the Dark Chi would be that just as with the reasoning for not offering a third season to match Chad Bradford, relievers rarely have two good seasons in a row. And add to that the fact that the Mets will have plenty of internal candidates to take over for name a handful: Jason Vargas, Dave Williams, Jon Adkins, Phil Humber...heck even Orlando Hernandez if Minaya acquires enough top end starting talent (hint hint).

Now if Dark Chi had come complaining to me about Jesus Flores becoming the new Dan Uggla in '07 after the Nats took him from the Mets as a Rule V player, then I would have understood.

Speaking of Dark Chi, what if Keith Partridge and Kelly Leak had a child?

That's right, you get SNY's newest employee.

Yes, Lee Mazzilli is returning, somewhat, to his roots, as he will be a studio analyst for Mets Post Game Live with Matt Yallof on the Home Of The Mets That Sometimes Runs Derek Jeter Commercials, Sports Net New York. It's a homecoming made possible by the fact that Mazzilli couldn't find a job after being fired as a manager, and then as a bench coach. So when Mazzilli says "I love the fact that I'm coming back to work for the team that originally drafted me", he really means "I needed a job on a major league bench but was having no luck...even Art Howe was more desired than I it was time to fall back to television. But when my smooth television persona and my good looks land me a managerial opening I'm sooooooooooo outta here." Of course, this move never happens without Keith Hernandez's desire to expand his vacation time to 130 games in 2007.

Of course, with Mazzilli's expansive infusion of Yankee blood, we can expect to hear such riveting analysis such as "Well, when I was a Yankee coaching under Joe Torre...", and "When I was the first base coach and Todd Zeile blatently interfered with Chuck Knoblauch on the basepaths..."

How I bet you will not be hearing Mazzilli starting a sentence will be:

  • "Well I managed Sammy Sosa, so I have some experience with corked bats, and..."
  • "Speaking of syringes, I managed Rafael Palmeiro, and you know I looked like Palmeiro way back in 1982..."
  • "Hey, with the success of my run in 'Tony and Tina's wedding'..."

Italian Stallion Live...only on SNY in '07.


Mike said...

From some of the stuff you hear about Maz, you'd think he was George's personal butt-boy for three seasons.

Key pinch hits in Games 6 & 7 in the '86 Series. I'm always happy to welcome Maz back.

Tommy_Calzone said...

Damus welcome back.

I thought

A. You really went to the Dominican Republic with Omar & co.

B. You were on hiatus drinking wine with Mex.

C. You were down in Orlando along with Jeffrey Maier pining for a job.


D. Had crawled into a hole waiting for Feb 2 and hoping the Mets actually landed a viable pitcher under 35 so that spring training can start 6 weeks later.

Unser said...

I'm willing to forgive Maz's tenure with the Yankees. Poster Boy is a Met in my book. Frankly, I've always wondered why any team took Maz on as a coach or a manager. Remember his playing days, when he was not exactly considered the brightest guy on the field? The guy who used to call time out, in the middle of the game, to select the best pair of flip-on sunglasses? Best moment - the All Star game in Seattle - his HR to the opposite field, and then his walk to bring home the winning run. He should have been the game's MVP.

You think we can start a petition to get Maz to bring back the Lennon specs he used to wear?

I'm not concerned about losing D. Oliver. Enough with the old guys - let's give Williams a chance in the long relief role. But let's get moving on the starting pitching front PLEASE!!!!

Sean said...

I honestly think Victor Zambrano is our solution for 2007.

OJ Is Innocuous! said...

Lee Mazzilli is a sellout yankee scumbag. Remember his phony 'interference' yell against Todd Zeile. What a clown. Great job managing the Orioles, you idiot.

k. said...

A-Rod also does ads on SNY.
The only Mets who do ads are DWright, 40% Kapitalist Owner/Exploiter, in generic uniform for his VitaminWater company, and my favorite Met, Jose Reyes, who does these cardboard cutout ads for snacks in my Dominican 'hood in proud defiance of our town nanny, Bloomberg.

Mazzilli? Yuck! [Flashback to the Big Shea Empty Houses of 1979 thru 1984.] Darling has great insight, Keith can be fun in a Ralph Kiner Waxing Nostalgic Sorta Way, but Mazzilli looks like a TV dullard to be, another beard for Giambi's HGH habit.

Metstradamus said...

Tommy, all viable alternatives...but the correct answer is:

E. Helping Victor Zambrano find an unlocked door to Shea Stadium so he can sneak back in for his personal belongings.

Shea Gadfly said...

What really worries me is that Omar won't let Jose play winter ball for health concerns...which means he'll pull a hammy the seventh day of the season. Of course, I am hoping that by saying this I am warding off any such bad luck (while rapping hard on any pieces of wood in my office...including my head).

As for Mazz, what was Ron Swoboda busy?

Tommy_Calzone said...

Shea don't laugh....

remember when Jose had all those leg troubles?

coincidentally those 2 years prior he had not played winter ball.

I am a believer in lettin someone like him play.

His legs get too tight apparently sitting around all winter because whenever he plays winterball he plays fine in the reg season....

I scared.

jdon said...

nobody in their right mind would ever consider Darren Oliver a capable starting pitcher. That qualification excludes, however, at least a third of the GMs out there. Bradford is a career mediocrity. He cannot be given 3 years, regardless of the kind of year he had. Omar would have been lobotomized in the press by his more intelligent counterparts. Nobody cares what Duquette or Angelos do. Fret not, 'Damus. we still have Ambidextrous, Aaron, Pedro F., Mota whenever,Juan Padilla, Duaner and Billy. Not to mention the redoubtable John Adkins, whom I don't believe I have ever seen pitch, and I have seen a zillion Met games (no exaggeration). Also Standridge, or whatever theye guy from the Reds' name is. I am content....until they trade Heilman, of course. Then te merde will hit the fan.

The Metmaster said...

Mets do not tender an offer to Victor Zambrano......"This long national nightmare is over".