Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Marriage And Divorce

So did you hear that Tori Spelling and Jessica Alba decided to forget men all together and get married to each other? Yes indeed. Tori decided to take Jessica's last name and now she will be known as Tori Alba.

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
It's just what the Mets do, isn't it? You have Lo Duca, a guy who enjoys being a Met, and has repeatedly said (begged?) that he wants to remain a Met, and that he loves being a Met and he loves the fans. So what do the Mets do? Ignore him as if he was that guy at the party that tells the same joke to everyone in the room, over and over again. It's really no wonder that other franchises regularly have players that come out and say that in their heart they'll always be a member of that team, while the Mets regularly have players like Tony Tarasco, who teach young pitchers how to smuggle hooch in peanut butter jars. (That's right, I brought up Tony Tarasco. What of it?)

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 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.


tommy_calzone said...

Gee Damus I can't wait for next year after reading that.

Now please excuse me while I go burn down my house.

John Peterson said...

Good shit.

Maybe Minaya is really sold on the whole defensive catcher angle.

I hated Lo Duca, so whatever. I'm just hoping that Castro gets the majority of the playing time.

(Deploy could never play a whole season straw man.)

Anonymous said...

Must this franchise insist on sucking? Oy.

katherine said...

I made the mistake of reading this right before going to bed. Now I won't be able to sleep. Oh, why can't Omar and the Wilpons see how great Lo Duca is????

G-Fafif said...

Actually, that Tori Alba line is pretty good.

frederick said...

Remember - what the Mets are NOT doing may be more important than what they ARE doing. What they are NOT doing is:
* Trading Jose Reyes
* Paying way too much $$$ and years to A-Rod, which would change the face of the Mets for the next 10 years and
* Moving David Wright to a new position

MetFanMac said...

Metstra, you just summed up perfectly all the reasons why this move is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

Not only is LoDuca a very fiery competitor, but he was one of the Mets' best hitters in September.

Demitri said...

Yeah - let's lose one of the guys who showed some fire. What would have been so bad about 1 more year of Paul and seeing what's on the FA radar next winter?

tommy_calzone said...

Hey Omar,

Where is the offer for Mariano????

He has been sitting on an offer from the Yanks for 4 days.

Get off your hands and make a move!

It's called multi tasking!
fabulous concept.

gbaked said...

gotta disagree with you here metstra (surprise surprise)

first off, the tori alba joke was funny... dont sell yourself short

I enjoyed Paulie here. He was a good met and will be remembered as such. However, catcher is a demanding position. Very different from LF. Having a guy with legs that are 6 years fresher will be a good thing. Plus, rumor has it this guy is a tough competitor who takes pride in the art of catching. Him and Castro will be a nice platoon.

Also, there are plenty of past mets that are still tied to the organization, look no further then our coaching staff and broadcast booth. Keith wore blue and orange when the Cards celebrated him for something.

and if you considered Paulie our leader last year... and our biggest problem was attitude... well, to quote remember the titans "attitude reflects leadership"

katherine said...

Metstradamus, if you're right about the TH + E factor, and they don't sign Paul because of that, then they DO sign A Rod? - then I will go on a rampage.

Metstradamus said...


Valid points on all fronts. But the leadership on that club last year was a multi-headed wasn't just Paulie. For all the ways Lo Duca gets himself in trouble with his 'tude, at least he cared. Don't forget when Delgado said the team got bored...I doubt Paulie was one of the guys who was bored.

Reading Metsblog after writing what I wrote, Matt said that Torrealba is also fiery and has some passion. We'll see. But .212 away from Coors. Damn damn damn. And if Torrealba and Castro are platooning, then the Mets would be paying $15 million for a part time player over three years if those reports are the very least $9 mill over two. Don't tell me there's no money to overpay Santana after that.

Metstradamus said...


True. But I was never worried about that. A-Rod had zero chance of being a Met. Zero.

Unser said...

I'm with ya . . . So the Mets are absically saying let's spend more money on a catcher you can't hit, throw or block balls as well as Lo Duca because he's a few years younger.

I think Alex Trevino has a better chance of playing behind the dish for the Mets this year.

Anonymous said...

A Yorbit training video:

dmg said...

actually i'm thinking of calling him JOE torrealba...

BleedingOrangeAndBlue said...

The part of this story that I love is when the jilted Paulie Lo goes and signs a deal with the Phillies, then ends up murdering us in September, not sure whether he should be smiling because of the chip on his shoulder or crying because of what he's done. "I'm only doing this because I love you!!" he says as he smacks a base hit to the opposite field driving home Jimmy Rollins.

I gave Omar the benefit of the doubt last year for being patient, and sticking with what he has, but letting Lo Duca go is a step backwards for this team. I think I'd rather have Piazza catching half the games again than Torrealba.

Anonymous said...

We're down 1 Met who actually cares about winning and it's not even January.

Front office, you suck.

gbaked said...

If Omar could get rid of delgado and put someone in there that could replace his numbers I bet he would.

This team is now in the hands of Wright and Pedro. Loduca and Glavine, two of our "leaders" from last year are gone.