Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Brian Bannister Era Is Over

Late last night, while transplanted ex-Met Mike Piazza was finishing up a deal to be the A's new DH, Omar made his first move of the Winter Meetings, shipping Brian Bannister off to Middle America for the Kansas City Royals' Ambiorix Burgos. Who the heck is Ambiorix Burgos, you might ask? Well, first of all he becomes only one of two kids named Ambiorix in the Mets organization. 23 year old outfielder Ambiorix Concepcion has been toiling in the lower levels of the Mets farm system for the past few years, but 2007 doesn't look to be the year when two dudes named Ambiorix share space on the same big league roster.

ANYWAY... the Ambiorix the Mets acquired yesterday is Ambiorix Burgos, a hard-throwing 21 year old right-handed pitcher who hails from the Dominican Republic. If he were a fictional character, he would be Charlie Sheen in Major League. This guy throws hard, real hard, but can't find the plate. He spent some time as the Royals closer last season and blew twelve saves out of 30 opportunities. Yes, he blew twelve saves out of thirty. Here's a clue why: He threw eleven wild pitches in 73 innings. Meanwhile, in 2005 he could claim the highest average fastball velocity of American League relievers, at 96.5 mph. Holy mackerel. Imagine being a batter facing this guy? 97 miles an hour and neither one of you have any idea where the pitch will wind up. This could be very interesting. Just don't ask me how to pronounce his name. I'm a blogger, not a linguist.

Speaking of interesting, Gary Carter and Howard Johnson were sitting around, anxiously waiting to find out which one of them would be named the Mets third base coach for 2007. Well yesterday Willie Randolph and Omar dropped a bombshell, indicating that Sandy Alomar will be shifting over to third base next season, and Rickey Henderson is a candidate to become the 2007 first base coach. Whuh??? There may still be an opening for HoJo or The Kid as Willie's bench coach, but we'll find out soon.

Rick Peterson is coming back in 2007. I had wondered if Texas wouldn't have thrown a boatload of cash at Peterson in their efforts to attract Barry Zito, but I guess Tom Hicks will have to stick with cash. Let's all not forget by the way, that Texas has no state income tax, so money from Texas is worth more than money from New York.

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