Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm Listening

FC: Roz, who's our first caller?

RD: Frasier, we have Metstradamus on line one.

FC: Go ahead caller.

MD: Dr. Crane, I have a problem.

FC: Metstradamus, I'm listening.

MD: I'm calling because I have a fear of commitment.

FC: Well Metstradamus, a fear of commitment is very common. You may have a concern about the idea of "forever".

MD: That sounds right.

FC: And you might be afraid of a bad marriage or a short one.

MD: Yes, that's very astute Dr. Crane.

FC: You fear a bad mistake in the person chosen.

MD: Dr. Crane, you're a genius.

FC: So how long have you dated this girl?

MD: What girl?

FC: The girl that you fear a commitment with.

MD: Oh I've been married for three years.

FC: You've been...wait a second...I don't understand.

MD: You see Dr. Crane, I have this little blog where Met fans of all persuasions come and depend on me for guidance since I'm a soothsayer and all. And the trade deadline is coming up and there is a marquee name out there that some Met fans can't decide whether they want to give up their top prospect for him or not.

FC: So what's the problem.

MD: Well like I said, people are going to want an opinion from me to help guide them in their lives...kind of like what you do...and I can't commit to an opinion one way or the other.

FC: That is your fear of commitment?

MD: Frasier, I don't think you understand the enormity of the situation. The single most important question Met fans will have over the next five days...the question that decides the direction of the whole "should we trade Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito"...and I, er, I can't answer it! I'm afraid that we'll be without Lastings Milledge "forever". And I'm afraid of a bad Met "marriage" with Barry Zito, and definitely a "short" one. But we're talking about the World Series here. The World Series!!! I know this is a foreign entity to've never seen one in Seattle. Barry Zito could get us to one...but then we'd lose Lastings Milledge forever!

FC: I see.

MD: I could really use your assistance on this one Dr. Crane.

FC: Well I had a good friend who used to play with the Red Sox, and he also had a fear of commitment. So I think I can help you here. Now Metstradamus, I find that the best way to come to a conclusion in these matters is to weigh the pros and cons of your situation. Now tell me, what are the pros to this Ziti character?

MD: Zit-O!

FC: Yes, right.

MD: Well, he is a former Cy Young award winner. And the Mets employ his former pitching coach...he's kind of a guru of sorts. Eccentric sort, always wears a jacket. Anyway, I think that would make Zito happy. And he has a freakish curveball. Trading for him would be the gutsy thing to do.

FC: I see. Now what is the downside concerning Zito?

MD: Well, he won that Cy Young award a long time ago...and since then he's basically been a .500 pitcher. And if the Mets trade for him, there's every chance that he'll leave after two months for somewhere else, meaning we'd give up our top prospect for basically nothing. It's not the practical thing to do.

FC: Metstradamus, it sounds like an easy decision to me.

MD: But it wouldn't be all bad if Zito left. The Mets would get two first round draft choices if Zito did leave, which would mean Milledge would be traded for two future stars.

FC: Interesting.

MD: Now keep in mind that these two draft picks could turn out to be part of the future. Or they could be as useful as rusty hinges. Lastings Milledge is close to the real deal already. And Zito could be here next season anyway.

FC: So you're saying if Zito comes now, he'll leave. And if Zito doesn't come, then he'll come next season.

MD: Maybe, on all counts.

FC: Isn't there a chance that Zito could come here for somebody other than this Lastings character? Haven't you, as a Met fan, ever had your cake and ate it too?

MD: Yes, but only after the cake dropped to the floor and stuck to some random hair, floor wax, and cracker crumbs. That piece always went to me.

FC: Well I find that trades usually work out even when all is said and done so you can't go wrong either way.

MD: You've never heard of Victor Zambrano, have you?

FC: No, but I once pantsed Wade Boggs.

MD: Let it never be said that the psychiatric community possesses no scruples.

FC: Metstradamus, we need to get to the root of the problem. Let's play a little word association. I'll say a word and you say the first thing that comes to your mind.

MD: This is your big plan?

FC: Let's begin: Bat

MD: Maple

FC: Maple?

MD: More and more baseball bats are made of maple.

FC: I see this is going to be tougher than I thought. Okay: salt

MD: pepper

FC: doctor

MD: Pepper

FC: night

MD: Ray

FC: right

MD: David

FC: left

MD: Tug McGraw

FC: twin

MD: Soriano

FC: Abreu

MD: Tigers

FC: Yankees

MD: suck?

FC: All right, your situation isn't dire. Ready: Zito


FC: Come on Metstradamus, Zito. ZITO!

MD: I can't come up with anything!


MD: Dammit my mind is a blank!!!

FC: Metstradamus, you must take some time to talk this out for yourself, for your own sake, and for the sake of your readers.

MD: I just can't make up my mind on this, Frasier. I mean, making this trade would send an uplifting message to the team. It would be the same as telling them: "Boys, I believe in you. You've played well enough, and you've earned the opportunity to receive some help and here you are: Barry Zito."

FC: Well I think it's healthy that you have the feelings of other people in mind.

MD: But it could go the other way. Giving the team some help might also tell them that their boss has no confidence in what the current group can do in the playoffs and World Series. I mean, there's a lot of veterans on the team and their egos shouldn't be that fragile. But there's always exceptions to the rule. I shudder at what a trade like this would do to Steve Trachsel and Aaron Heilman.

FC: Who?

MD: I mean, those two go nuts at the mere mention of being demoted in the starting rotation, or being kept off it all together.

FC: So why not trade them too?

MD: More trades? I have enough trouble deciding on this one. You're throwing me more trades? What the hell do they pay you for?!?

FC: ...

MD: I need help.

FC: Tell me about your mother.

MD: Old Dodger fan.

FC: Brooklyn?

MD: Los Angeles too.

FC: Really? Your mother never disavowed the Dodgers after they left Brooklyn?

MD: Well, after 1981 when they beat the Yankees, she took pity on my sad sack Mets team and started supporting it, along with my interest in it. But she's an old Dodger fan at heart.

FC: Interesting. Who was your mother's favorite Dodger player?

MD: Ron Cey.

FC: And was there anything special about Ron Cey that is deep in the recess of your mind?

MD: Well they called him "The Penguin".

FC: Penguin...Did she have a favorite Met?

MD: Yes, his name was Len Dykstra.

FC: And was he a penguin too?

MD: No, but he ran into walls a lot. Mom was upset when he was traded to Philadelphia.

FC: Upset...traded...very interesting. Tell me...this Penguin, was he traded to Philadelphia too?

MD: No...he was traded to the Cubs.

FC: Yes...yes...and what was gained by these two trades?

MD: Well between Vance Lovelace and Juan Samuel, I'd say absolutely nothing, Frasier.

FC: I think I know your problem. You see, your mother was traumatized not once...but twice by trades. And not just any trades...her favorite players ONE...from each franchise, gone in an instant. You want so much to embrace change but you can't. You can't because it was indeed trades that took away those you your mother held close. And although change may be good you are hesitant because of the ugly memories of past trades that traumatized your mother. You need to let go, move on, and not be afraid to make a decision that you think would bring back these ugly memories.

MD: Hmmm.

FC: It's okay to be speechless after an epiphany like this.

MD: Frasier, I've made my decision.

FC: Well I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that. What is your decision?

MD: Frasier, you're a twisted individual. And in the interests of making sure I never listen to your show again, I'm throwing my radio against the wall. Then I'm going to throw my head against the wall. And when I wake up, I just may throw my mother against the wall. And if I'm not in jail, I'm going to fly across the country to throw Ron Cey against the wall.

FC: Do you think that's particularly healthy?

MD: Probably not...but at least I've made a decision. And for now, that's a start. Thanks, Dr. Crane.

FC: Metstradamus, although I don't think it will do much good, I wish you good mental health. Roz, who's our next caller?

RD: Frasier, we have Omar from Flushing on line two.

FC: Omar, I'm listening...


Ed in Westchester said...

This might be the best post ever.
Take a bow Metsra.

Anonymous said...

I'm not particularly sold on Lastings Milledge. Not that I don't think he's a great talent, it's just that somehow he doesn't seem to fit with this team. Somehow Milledge doesn't seem to be in the mold of Reyes and Wright and Beltran.

That could be totally in my head (or maybe the product of some kind of subtle smear campaign, who knows?) but it keeps popping up in my thoughts on the trade deadline.

That said, the thing that worries me most about Milledge for Zito is actually that we could get more for Milledge if we waited. I guess what I'm saying is that I would be more upset about a Zito trade if I found out that we maybe coulda gotten Dontrelle later. I don't see myself crying and crying over having lost Milledge unless he turns out to be another Gary Sheffield (which he's not gonna be).

I tend to pull more for the Beltrans and Dontrelles and Cliff Floyds of the baseball world more than I do the Sheffields and the Jose Guillens and the Milledges. I'm not saying that Milledge is gonna end up a jerk like those guys, I guess I'm just saying that the personality of these guys is half the reason I love this particular Mets team so much and Milledge doesn't seem like one of those kind of guys.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I like the idea. Zito could very well put us over the top this year. If we win the series you'd have to figure we'd have a leg up on signing Zito long term in which case we would be set. If we didn't, we gave it our best shot and still might sign Zito again or we just traded MIlledge for two number one picks. Not that horrible.

Go for it Omar.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! Just great.

As to the substance beneath that bravura performance, I have to throw my "NO" into the ring.

Unlike Willis, who's merely a bit of a question mark at this juncture, Zito also brings the twin concerns of 4 extra years of age (and a few of MLB innings), and the Free Agent-Boras thing. Milledge and Pelfrey for a 3 month rental on a guy who's arm ain't what it was has to be an N-O.

I also think that those two for Willis (2 years?) is too much, but maybe I'd accept Milledge and Heilman.

No I wouldn't. What the hell am I talking about? Heilman & Pelfrey? Deal.

Strangely though, I'll do Milledge for Abreu. I think with Glavine in ICU, Pedro in . . . wherever it is Pedro goes, and Trachsel in that sucky world of suck he inhabits, we'll need EVERY RUN we can get. .425+ OBPs don't come around too often. Reyes, Abreu, Beltran, Delgado, Wright, and Floyd as your first 6 hitters is 5-6 runs per game. Even Trachs can't screw that up.

Well, he can. But I'm trying to be optimistic here.

Anonymous said...

MD, you consulted with the wrong Cheers cast member. Try bouncing this one off of Coach.

BTW, ESPN says Mets and A's are talking Zito for Heilman, Humber and another prospect, not Milledge. This makes sense, especially if they then get Roberto Hernandez from the Bucs.

Anonymous said...

I give Milledge for Zito two thumbs down. And I only have two thumbs.

Toasty Joe said...

Awesome, Metstra, just awesome. As an old Cheers fan, I appreciated the Wade Boggs reference, too.

Anonymous said...

Damus, hands down, the best column I've seen so far on this debacle. Cheers (pun intended) - Coop

Anonymous said...

PS Love the Red Sox-Malone reference and the "Mr. WADE. BOGGS!" episode. On a side note, I was at Fenway last week and witnessed a fan in the stands wearing a "Malone" Red Sox jersey - priceless.

beezermess said...

I really do not know what to say...I think seriously that you need mental help....and not from Frazier...this was the funniest post ever...
Belleuve has your room ready and they have made sure it is padded...

Anonymous said...

Milledge for Zito---NO
Milledge for Willis - YES

Anonymous said...

Add my voice to the chorus praising this post: "Palpitatingly tangential."

Mookie McFly said...

Don't listen to Side Show Bob (or guys who do his voice)


Certainly don't trust former Cy Yound award winners who have gone down hill since...Remember Bret Saberhagen.

Great post rock the party that rocks the house party.

I say we stand pat until someone presents us an offer. Everyone knows the Mets have a great season. If we wait until Monday at say 3:30, some bumbling GM from a bad team with one finger in his dress shirt collar and one on the button will make us an offer that works. I see no reason to panic until we play the Braves. The season starts tomorrow night at 7:35 w/Pedro on the mound.

Once again, good stuff man...keep it up.

Mookie McFly said...

Oh, I said, "Everyone knows the Mets have a great season"...I meant great farm system. Damn brain can't keep up with my fingers.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the Orioles TURNED DOWN an offer of Earvin Santana and a couple of prospects for Miguel Tejada. How about Milledge and Heilman to the Angels for the same deal?