That's not funny.
Here's what else isn't funny: Tori Alba, er...I mean, Yorvit Torrealba could be the Mets next starting catcher. Awesome. A guy who hit .212 away from Coors Field is going to (gasp!) leave Coors Field and come to the Mets?
Meanwhile, Paul Lo Duca is in a room somewhere with Ozzy Osbourne posters on the wall...staring at the telephone waiting for a call from the Mets as if he was waiting for a call from the prom queen. He shouldn't hold his breath, as the Mets have all but served him with divorce papers. Here are the list of Met priorities at catcher that are ahead of him:
- Yorvit Torrealba
- Ramon Hernandez
- Gerald Laird
- Ronny Paulino
- Miguel Montero
- Kelly Shoppach
- Sandy Alomar Jr.
- Benito Santiago
- Jorge Posada (Omar's still at the window waiting for Posada to show up with two duffle bags saying "I changed my mind!")
- Gary Lee Cavagnaro
- A wet sack of flour
- Yogi Berra (It's that Yankee pedigree.)
- Paul Lo Duca
But more than that, what exactly does Yorvit Torrealba bring to the table that Paul Lo Duca doesn't? He throws out more runners? That would be wrong, kind sir. Paulie has thrown out .234 while Yorvit has chucked .191. He handles a pitching staff better? Both catchers have an ERA of 4.12...you want to tell me Yorvit's 4.12 is more impressive than Lo Duca's 4.12 because of Coors Field? That's up for debate.
He blocks more balls? Four passed balls for Yorvit, two for Paulie. Zone rating? Well, Yorvit has him at .971 to .889. Even though I'm not smart enough to grasp what in the bloody world a zone rating is, I'm guessing that .971 is better than .889.
But the only formula that the Mets are looking at is TH + E...otherwise known as the Distraction Factor. Yorvit's Distraction Factor is near zero, if not exactly zero. Lo Duca's Distraction Factor? It's about 105. TH + E, if you must know, is Tabloid Headlines + Ejections. Too high a distraction factor does not jive with the Wilpons, who want to have a team of "oh golly gee" guys who aren't going to rock the boat.
Oh yeah, and Torrealba is six years younger too, a small fact that didn't prevent the Mets from re-signing Moises Alou to a "one out of every two games" contract, which tells me that it's the Distraction Factor that is keeping Lo Duca from returning. Because heaven forbid the Mets have any players that show some emotion and actually care about baseball a little bit more than your average run o' the mill robot.
Which brings me to Tom Glavine, because as you know, baseball is merely a game which nobody is devastated, only disappointed. He's not coming back. Hooray. But the Mets can at least get more out of Glavine now than they did during Game number 162. All the Wilpons have to do is offer arbitration to the man who so obviously wants to escape a challenging baseball environment like New York to return to the comforts of Alpharetta, GA. If the Mets do that, they will get the Braves 18th pick in next June's draft. Which brings about the question: If the Mets do that, and if a "number one" talent like Rick Porcello drops into their laps as he did all the way to the 27th pick last June, will the Mets draft him? Or will they do what everyone else until the Tigers did and let him go because they'd never want to meet his price?
Then again, looking at past drafts to try to pick out some great players that were drafted at number 18 to support my argument and not coming up with anyone better than Aaron Heilman from 1978 on, is it too harsh to think that if the Mets did get the 18th pick, they'd probably screw it up anyway? Before Heilman, the last two 18's they drafted were 1992's Chris Roberts (when players like Shannon Stewart, Charles Johnson, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Todd Helton were still on the board), and 1991's immortal Al Shirley (when Aaron Sele was still on the board? The humanity!)
But why bother with the silly thing such as the draft when you can go get another player from Japan, a strategy which has worked so well in the past. No, not Kosuke Fukudome, who's been compared to Ichiro, but Hiroki Kuroda ... a pitcher who's been compared to Kei Igawa, only without the upside. That's comforting.
Here's a scouting report:
The Mets are also believed to be interested in Japanese righty Hiroki Kuroda, and one AL team official provided a scouting report to The Post, saying the pitcher's fastball is "average to slightly above average" and that he has a "good forkball." The official also said Kuroda "throws strikes and is a tough competitor."Translated, that means he has a batting practice fastball, a forkball that hitters will learn to lay off by June, and when one of his strikes is hit over the apple in center field, he'll curse at himself on the mound. I know I'm excited.