Saturday, January 31, 2009

Congratulations ...

... to Pedro Feliciano, for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Who knew? I believe that makes him the first lefty specialist to get into Canton. Ray Guy must be pissed.

As long as we're on a football theme, I guess you want a Super Bowl prediction from someone who calls himself a soothsayer. At the risk of multiple comments which encourage me to "stick to baseball" (though that hasn't gone very well either lately), I give you: Cardinals 31 Steelers 20.

(Editor's note: The blogger is not responsible for any money you may have lost listening to him ... He only hopes you were smart enough to take the points.)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lobster Rage

Disclaimer: R-rated joke lies ahead:
One of my favorite moments in the Verducci/Torre book is about Roger Clemens as he prepared to face the Mets in Game 2 of the 2000 World Serious. Verducci writes that Clemens’ usual pregame preparation included taking a whirlpool bath at the hottest temperature possible."He’d come out looking like a lobster," Yankee trainer Steve Donahue told Verducci. Donahue would then rub hot liniment all over Clemens’ body. "Then Donahue would rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles,” Verducci writes.

"He’d start snorting like a bull," the trainer said. "That’s when he was ready to pitch."
-Alex Belth, Bronx Banter
Well that explains it. Clemens never said "I thought it was the ball." He actually said "I thought it would cool my balls!"

Who knew liniment was a performance enhancing substance. Was it cream, or clear ... I wonder.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hey, The Mets Signed An Outfielder With Distinctive Hair!

No, not that outfielder with distinctive hair.

Yeah, it's a minor league deal for Sideshow Bobby Kielty. There's your low end righty, kids.

I kinda dig him off the bench. I just hope he doesn't scare the children with that hair. Because as you know, it's all about the children.

The Mets also signed former Yankee Matt DeSalvo, who had a 31.50 ERA last season with Atlanta. I've had dinner bills at fancy restaurants lower than 31.50. Awesome. There's a signing that has all the excitement of a Citi Field commemorative patch.

I miss Brandon Knight already.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Goats Collide

Umm, yeah. About that new start Aaron, don't get too comfortable. Because you're moving again. This time, to Chicago ... where there's no doubt that Aaron Heilman, a goat many times in New York, will combine with Chicago's billy goat and they will cancel each other out, propelling the Cubs to the World Series (but not before he kicks off the Mets' annual September swoon at Citi Field on the fourth, fifth, and sixth where he will either pitch a no-hitter, or pitch three perfect set up innings ... one in each game ... prompting Cole Hamels to have a chuckle.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Embarrassment of Riches

Cory Sullivan and Rob Mackowiak? You mean Jerry Manuel can burn one of these light-hitting lefty sticks as a defensive replacement and still have the other one to pinch hit when the club needs a sacrifice bunt? Combine them with Jeremy Reed and you've got some serious managerial flexibility my friend. It's no wonder why Met fans feel so spoiled. After all, spare outfielders who can't hit Miley Cyrus' weight don't grow on trees, you know. And Omar Minaya has signed them all!

Manny Ramirez? Who needs him. Get me the next Andy Tomberlin ... stat!

Heck, let's sign the original Andy Tomberlin.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Feelin' Kinda Sunday

Whoa, that was some nightmare I had ... Freddy Garcia was a Met and Steve Phillips replaced Peter Gammons on Sunday Night Baseball. It had to be a nightmare, because Freddy Garcia isn't even a Met.

Oh no.

Well, at least I don't have to deal with Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips on Sund ...

Oh F%&K!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Smaller Than Life

With the latest technology our crack staff was able to simulate what would have happened if Jeff Kent had just acted like the rookie he was and had just worn the damn clown suit.

Now that he's retired, the question becomes whether Kent is a Hall of Famer. Excuse me for not saying nice things about a guy just because he retired, but when I see a Hall of Famer walking down the street, I'm usually taken aback by somebody who's larger than life. When I see Jeff Kent walk down the street I wonder if my car will be ready at the shop.

Numbers are numbers. And they'll get him in. But when you think of Jeff Kent, what do you think of? Do you think of anything he's done on the baseball field? Or do you think of him falling off his motorcycle and lying about it? Do you think of him fighting with Barry Bonds? Do you think of the clown suit? I mean ... this is a Hall of Famer?

But seriously Jeff, thanks for the memories. And thanks for waiting until leaving Flushing to start knocking in runs and becoming a "Hall of Famer". Maybe now that you're retired you can come back to help christen Citi Field: The House Jeff Kent Had Nothing To Do With.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Aren't Going To Do That, Unless Of Course We Do

January 19th, 2009:
"I don't see us doing a left-handed hitter," Minaya said. "It's going to be a real low-end right-handed hitter if we do anything." -Omar Minaya
January 20th, 2009:
The Mets and OF Cory Sullivan agreed to a one-year, $600,000 contract, which includes $300,000 in incentives ... The 29–year-old Sullivan, who bats left-handed ...
Gee, nothing like setting the bar low and then tripping over the bar.

But I guess worrying about bench players isn't the worst thing in the world ... It couldn't get worse than last year's bench ... could it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Hypocrisy Continues

So, this is the same Jimmy Rollins who is the arbiter of how much dancing and hot dogging is acceptable in baseball, right?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snack Food

So the Mets lost out on Derek Lowe ... but their response was swift and significant:

Alex Cora: Utility Infielder.

It's kinda like going to a fancy restaurant and ... after being told that they're all out of Filet Mignon ... settling for a bag of Funyuns.

I'm not sure which five star restaurant offers Filet Mignon and Funyuns, but if there is I'm sure Mike Stanton not only knows about it, but has it on his speed dial.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Was Afraid Of This

So the Mets basically told Derek Lowe that if he thinks he could get a better offer somewhere else he should go for it.

He went for it, and apparently he's going to get it.

So I ask you this: What's the consolation if Lowe does indeed sign with Atlanta and the Mets don't budge from their initial offer? And I'm not talking about who the Mets sign in his place. I'm talking more along the lines of whether the fact that the Mets were

  • stingy,
  • frugal, or ...
  • responsible

whatever you want to call it with their money will help you sleep at night when Lowe is doing the tomahawk chop. Will you still think that the Mets played the market right and will you be content in the fact that the Wilpons didn't throw extra money around in this economy?

(Editor's note: I italicize "in this economy" because I'm about near the point of puking my guts up after the thousandth time hearing that phrase.)

This is why I was worried when the Braves struck out on A.J. Burnett (and Rafael Furcal). They were going to have money to spend on someone. And now their spending spree might cost the Mets Derek Lowe. So for that, I guess you can partly blame the Yankees for signing Burnett. (Now now Metstradamus, you learned about argument fallacies in college and now you're leaning on one yourself. For shame, wayward blogger.)

But this was a case where the Mets should have taken a page from the Yankees book. The Yankees blew everyone out of the water for CC Sabathia right from the beginning, and that's when everyone started grumbling about New York and how their irresponsible. And I'm not saying the Mets should have offered Lowe $60 million more than he was worth. But when Boras and Lowe said they were going to go elsewhere, an extra six or seven million over the length of the deal at that point might make a team like the Braves think twice about even making an offer, instead forcing them to grumble about the economics of baseball and about how New York is evil. But now they're firmly in the mix with the money originally earmarked for Burnett, and the Mets have to play catch up and pay more than they would have if they had just thrown in a little extra from the start.

Instead, they're sitting out in the cold in front of the building like Ralph Kramden was when he and Alice were kicked out of the apartment for not signing the rent increase, and all Ralph could say is "I've said it before ... and I'll say it again ... that man is bluffing." And maybe Boras still is bluffing. This could be the reverse New York theory. Instead of bringing in the New York team to goose up the price, he's using a New York rival to goose up the price for the New York team. Boras probably knows teams' needs as well as their insecurities as well as anyone. He's playing it like a fiddle and he knows it. I'm just saying that a little good faith ... not much ... could have avoided all this. Because you may think you're bidding against yourself, but with Scott Boras that's never really the case.

Now there are some who think that getting Oliver Perez back would be the better option anyway ... upside and age being the major factors. Besides, better the devil you know, right? More than fair. But if Perez becomes the play, I'm sure there will be fans who feel that the Mets didn't really move forward with the rotation. After all, Perez is kinda "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt". And if the Mets aren't going to get the discount on Derek Lowe because he prefers to play in the northeast part of the country, the Mets sure as heck aren't getting a discount on Ollie if he's the only option out there for a top flight pitcher. So then the choice becomes overpay for Ollie, or sign Randy Wolf and pray that he's the next Kyle Lohse.

(At which point whatever God you pray to laughs hysterically and points Pedro Martinez towards the Florida Marlins.)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Odds And Ends

Because an abundance of off-season blog posts aren't in the budget anymore (stupid sub-prime loans!)

The Mets have apparently offered Tim Redding a contract to be the next pitcher to lose the last game of the season and knock the Mets from the playoffs. Then he'll have more time to work on that golf swing.

Is it me, or is Scott Boras less of an agent and more of a used car salesman these days? ("I have an older model that still purrs, and a flashier model that sometimes has trouble with the ignition. I offer financing plans for both which involve a nice commission for me. What can I interest you in?")

And by the way, remember when we were sick of blogging about the Mets trading for Manny Ramirez? Now we're getting sick of blogging about signing Derek Lowe. How is it that over the years our sights just get set lower and lower?

Pat Burrell? Let him terrorize the Yankees now. Then maybe he'll work his way out of the Hall of Hate.

(Editor's note: Oh who are we kidding?)

J.C. Romero? You know, fifty games off is just more opportunity to rest so he can kill the Mets in the last 112.

And you know J.C. rhymes with G.N.C. What? I'm just sayin'. (For the record, J.C. probably got screwed.)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Lowe Ball (Cheesy Title, I Know)

I gotta hand it to the Mets: Only they can find a way to be screwed by Carlos Silva without even signing him.

Derek Lowe has invoked the name of Silva as some sort of garlic clove that the great Wilpon vampire is supposed to be scared of. Lowe turned down a 3 year $36 million deal because that would be the same money at one less year than Silva got from Seattle.

(Silva, to refresh your memory, went 4-12 with a 6.46 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP for Seattle in 2008 after signing that deal. In the offseason, tragedy struck when Silva was eaten by Andruw Jones.)
So Lowe has gone from wanting Barry Zito money to settling for treading water at Silva level. Now if you remember, I thought the Zito thing was bizarre. And I realize that nobody wants to give in to Scott Boras. But the Wilpons are rolling the dice here. They're using the big bad economy to try to make the market work for them. Fine. But to someone who still remembers the Angels swooping in and getting Vladimir Guerrero, I still worry about somebody making a late run at Lowe and getting him for $45 million for three years. The difference between Zito and Silva is great. But the difference between Carlos Silva and making Derek Lowe realistically happy isn't that large ... certainly not that large for a team with a new stadium and a regional sports network.

Lowe will probably not find a better deal in the northeast, as he wants. But the longer this goes, the greater a chance a team will say screw it, and scrounge up some pennies and make a better offer. It happened with Guerrero, and it certainly happened with Mark Teixeira. If it happens with Derek Lowe and the dice come up craps, then the Mets will have to do something creative ... like trade for Carlos Silva.

Creativity ... not for everyone.